PREBLE COUNTY — The Preble County District Library (PCDL), Dayton Foundation, and Preble County United Way are trying to bring the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program to the county.
PCDL Director Lauren Robinson, PCDL Head of Youth Department Sarah Tozier, and Michelle Lovely with the Dayton Foundation spoke to the Preble County Commissioners during their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 19.
Robinson explained, currently they are working with the United Way to try and find funding for the program. They are asking for a three year commitment. As part of the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program, the state is going to pay for half of the program for two years.
Currently, they only have to raise $32,861 for 100 percent enrollment for the first year.
“With the Imagination Library, if we were to go forward with this, every child is eligible in Preble County to get a book once a month until they reach the age of five and start kindergarten. That is 60 books they would get for free, delivered to their home,” Robinson said.
“If you look at the numbers, it would only cost $126 per child to have them throughout the entire program. It is very affordable. If we can get them enrolled, the Cincinnati Program has shown it [increased] their kindergarten readiness scores 15 to 24 percentage points.”
Commission President Denise Robertson responded, “Reading is what will take you out of poverty. It is the thing you need to be able to do to educate yourself.”
Robinson added, they are trying to get Preble County excited about reading. The library will be handling the database and enrollment while the Dayton Foundation will be handling the financial aspect. The United Way is serving as the affiliate.
They are seeking partners to help fund the program before moving forward.
Alexa Joyce, Preble County Director for United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, can be contacted with questions or for more information, at 937-456-7174 or at AlexaJ@Dayton-UnitedWay.org.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH