Free Books for Children from Birth to Age 5 in Collinwood and Cuyahoga County.

 Free books for children from birth to age 5 are available in our community from The Literacy Cooperative and the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library!

Did you know that “the single most important factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home before starting school”? (National Commission on Reading). As a parent or caregiver, snuggling up and reading daily with your child is one of the most important actions you can take to help set them up for future success.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails a free, brand new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until five years old, instilling a love of books and family reading from an early age. The Literacy Cooperative manages the program in Cuyahoga County and Wickliffe where it is available to every young child under age 5; the program is also available in other Ohio counties (check online at for availability). There are no income restrictions.

In Cuyahoga County, more than 23,000 children are currently enrolled. While this number may seem large, we know that tens of thousands of children are missing out. Help us build stronger brains and promote a love of books and reading among children in our community by spreading the word about this wonderful program. To enroll, parents of children age 4 ½ years old and younger can enroll online at Books arrive eight to ten weeks after registering.

Research confirms that this program can improve outcomes for children. Reaching a child in infancy provides literacy enrichment during the critical window of opportunity for language development and sets a strong foundation for success in school and life. Forty-one independent studies have shown that Imagination Library has a positive and significant impact on family literacy habits, kindergarten readiness and supporting grade level reading by third grade. 

 A fall, 2019 survey of Imagination Library families in Cuyahoga County showed that, overwhelmingly, parents are reading more frequently with their children, and children are asking their parents to read with them more often since receiving the books in the mail. Books in the home are one of the best predictors of a child’s success in school. In addition to free children's books, families enrolled in Imagination Library receive regular emails from The Literacy Cooperative that share useful parenting tips and valuable resources in the community.

There is no cost or obligation to the child’s family. It truly is a free gift. For more information, to enroll a child, donate or volunteer, visit The Literacy Cooperative’s website at


Jason Kluk-Barany

Office Administrator for The Literacy Cooperative.

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 5:01 PM, 07.06.2020