CLEVELAND—State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) joined Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine on Monday to announce the launch of the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library in Cuyahoga County.

“These are challenging times for Ohio families,” said Rep. Smith. “Many parents have to make difficult daily decisions as to how to best grow their children into healthy citizens. But because money is hard to come by, families may not have as many books in the home as parents would wish."

According to the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, over 50 percent of Ohio’s public school children are economically disadvantaged. Any child from birth to age five can enroll to receive a free, new book from the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library every month.

The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library will:

  • Foster and strengthen family bonds by having parents read to their children and vice versa,

  • Provide an alternative for families who simply cannot make it to a library due to a lack of access to public transit,

  • Eliminate the financial barrier of having to buy books,

  • Increase child readiness for entering kindergarten,

  • Benefit all Ohio children regardless of geographic location or economic status.

The Imagination Library Program provides a dollar for dollar funding match with each county that adopts the program. The Ohio General Assembly committed $5,000,000 to the program in the 2020-2021 fiscal year state operating budget.

“This is an investment I was happy to support in the 2020-2021 fiscal year state operating budget and I applaud the Governor and Mrs. DeWine for their leadership in launching the Imagination Library," said Rep. Smith.

To easily enroll online and learn more about the Imagination Library, visit

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