New program wants every kid in Cincinnati to have own 'personal library'

Low-income children throughout Cincinnati will soon find a new book waiting in their mailbox each month...totally free.

Seasoned early literacy programs Imagination Library and Reach Out and Read joined forces to deliver a new, age-appropriate book each month by mail to every Medicaid-eligible child under the age of five, starting at birth and at no cost to parents.

In Cincinnati, that's about 10,000 kids.

"Too many youngsters grow up with very few books in their home," said Mary Ronan, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools. "On average, low-income families across the country have only two or fewer age-appropriate books in their residence."

Officials hope the initiative will mean more kids achieve success in kindergarten, which is one of the key indicators for grade-level literacy by third grade, and are hoping the program will yield a 10 to 40 percent uptick in literacy scores, district-wide.

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