MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio (July 11, 2023) — Ruth Blackham visited the Miami Township branch of the Clermont County Public Library on June 15 with her daughters, ages 4 and 2. It was no ordinary day at the library.
“It’s really important to get kids excited about education and learning,” the Amelia resident said. “And when they’re excited about it, that’s the time to encourage them, right?”
There was plenty to be excited about as dozens of families participated in a summer literacy event organized by United Way of Greater Cincinnati Eastern Area and its partner, KLiCWOW, which provided free Amazon Fire 7 tablets to children whose families had preregistered.
United Way’s Success By 6® initiative provided families with early literacy kits, dental health kits and a prescription savings card. Families could sign up for library cards, get information about summer reading programs and learn about the federal Affordable Connectivity Program, which helps families that are struggling to pay for internet service.
The event also celebrated Clermont County’s third year as the local partner of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio. United Way, the Clermont County Public Library, the Dollywood Foundation and the Ohio governor’s office teamed up in 2020 to launch the Clermont program, which provides a free book each month to children up to age 5.
“We love the Imagination Library,” New Richmond resident Tricia Apke said, adding that her 3-year-old son looks forward to getting books from Dolly Parton. “I signed him up for it as soon as he was born. The books are great, targeted to his level. We read them just about every night.”
Many families received a free tablet for their preschoolers from KLiCWOW, an all-volunteer effort aimed at ensuring all Clermont County children are prepared for kindergarten. Like United Way’s Success By 6®, KLiCWOW focuses on kindergarten readiness because it’s crucial for later success in school and beyond.
John Melvin, KLiCWOW’s project leader, said it made sense to partner with United Way, as well as other organizations. “We’re all trying to work together to help children be successful in school. And if they’re successful in school, they’ll be good employees, they’ll be good for the workforce and they’ll be good citizens.”
Blackham said she believes the tablet her 4-year-old received will be a boon to her learning. “My daughter is really motivated by anything she can touch and interact with,” she said.
“This is a really great event,” she added. “I appreciate United Way and all they’ve done.”
United Way of Greater Cincinnati is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization [Tax ID: 31-0537502]. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.