Mike and Fran DeWine: Imagination Library comes to Malvern

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CCM/Thomas Clapper Fran and Governor Mike DeWine are surrounded by children during a visit to the Malvern Branch Library Feb. 29. Fran read the book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to children.

By Thomas Clapper

CCM Reporter


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his wife, Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine visited Malvern Branch Library for the first time and held a special book reading of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle on Feb. 29. 

This was done to promote Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio and celebrate every eligible child in the Village of Malvern is receiving books from this program. 

“It is pretty amazing what has been done here in this small town of Malvern,” said Fran DeWine. “We love to come to small towns, Mike and I are from small towns.”

Malvern was the only town in the state of Ohio to where 100% of those eligible signed up. 

“It took a real concerted effort by the school, the local library, health department, hospitals and many others to achieve this,” said Mike DeWine. 

Fran and Mike DeWine gave out free copies of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to all who attended this special story time event through this program.

“We were very excited to havethe Governor Mike and First Lady Fran DeWine visit our library in celebration of the 44644 zip code reaching 100% enrollment in the Imagination Library” said Carroll County Library Director Ellen Finnicum. “It takes everybody working together. Hospitals are registering kids for this program, head starts, preschools, daycares and health departments work together, and this is what happens. Our kids benefit from this when we all work together.” 

Light refreshments were supplied by Stark County United Way.

In 2023 over 4.5 million Imagination Library Books have been mailed to children in Ohio at no cost to families. Nearly 60% of Ohio’s eligible children are enrolled in the program. Ohio has the most children enrolled compared to any other state. 

To enroll, see the website https://www.ohioimaginationlibrary.org/enroll and follow the steps if eligible.

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