(Canton, OH) April 2, 2020 – Through United Way of Greater Stark County’s partnership with Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, any child from birth to age five in Carroll County is eligible to receive a new book in the mail each month, at no cost to the family.
This community initiative would not be possible without the support of multiple local partners such as Bowerston Public Library, Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, Carroll County District Library, Carroll County Job & Family Services, Carroll County General Health District, Carrollton Exempted School District, Family and Children First Council and many more.
“As all of us stay at home according to the Governor’s order during this pandemic, reading together as a family is something wonderful that we can do to create memories and help our children continue learning,” says Carrie Clemens, Associate Vice President of Resource Development at United Way of Greater Stark County. “We know these are challenging times and hope to help create some normalcy for your families and continue to work to ensure every student enters kindergarten ready to succeed.”
Great Start for Great Futures Coalition says “90% of a child’s brain development occurs by age 5, and birth to age 3 is the fastest rate of brain development across his/her entire life span. Progress made during the first 5 years of a child’s life is extremely predictive of future school successes and struggles. Kindergarten readiness predicts 3rd-grade reading achievement, which predicts 8th-grade math achievement, which predicts high school graduation, which predicts postsecondary attainment.”
“United Way and our community partners recognize the importance of early learning and the impact that it has not only just on the child and their future success but on the community as a whole,” says Maria Heege, United Way of Greater Stark County CEO and President.
A gift of only $25 can sponsor books for one child for an entire year. Ohio’s Governor’s Imagination Library will match donations to give more children the opportunity to have books in their homes. This program is open to all children, ages 0 – 5, regardless of their income level. Children will receive age-appropriate books mailed to their homes every month until they reach age five.
Please visit uwstark.org/imagination-library to sponsor or register a child, or for more information about this partnership with Carroll County and United Way.
Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library
The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library was inspired by First Lady Fran DeWine’s passion to improve the lives of Ohio’s children. First Lady DeWine first learned about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through her grandchildren’s participation in the program at their local library in Greene County. She saw the impact these books were having on her own family and their community and wanted every child across Ohio to have that same opportunity. In July 2019, the Ohio legislature included $5 million over the course of the next two years to jump-start the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, and our work began. We are now working with existing affiliates and new partners to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to each of Ohio’s 88 counties. We hope to open up enrollment to every Ohio child by 2021 and look forward to seeing the program grow with help from important partners like you.
About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities in Greater Stark County. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit www.uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445. ###