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1 million books and counting: Imagination Library fosters love of reading among children in Summit and Medina counties

Posted at 10:37 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 10:37:18-04

AKRON, Ohio — More than 1 million books are in the hands of children throughout Summit and Medina counties—a milestone United Way of Summit and Medina is celebrating.

Enrolled children 5 and under in Ohio are eligible for the Imagination Library program created by Dolly Parton as a way to foster the love of reading among children.

Each month, a brand new age-appropriate book is mailed to every enrolled child. Children receive “The Little Engine that Could” as their first book and the program with “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!”

Children like Niko and Lane are benefiting from their growing at-home library.

“We try to limit screen time, and we look forward to that day when we get to go to the mailbox where I can guarantee at least an hour of attention on the books that we get,” said Malonie, Niko and Lanie’s mom, in a news release. “The kids like to sit and read over and over again probably three or four times.”

The program is funded by a partnership between United Way of Summit & Medina, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library and a handful of local donors.

“United Way of Summit & Medina hosts one of the largest Imagination Library programs in Ohio,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO at United Way of Summit & Medina. “All three of my children participated in this program, and it’s incredible to see firsthand how the gift of thoughtful literature enriched their lives and is improving the lives of children and families in our community.”

If you have a child under the age of five and would like to enroll, click here.

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