DeWines guest readers in Good Knight Nordonia

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Frances DeWine read "“As an Oak Tree Grows” by G. Brian Karas during a recent Thursday's Good Knight, Nordonia.

NORTHFIELD CENTER – Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine were featured readers for Thursday’s Good Knight, Nordonia on Jan. 14.

Superintendent Joe Clark, who had started Good Knight, Nordonia during the 2019-20 school year, said that in October, the governor had sent an email to the state’s superintendents telling them to “keep up the good work, and if you need anything from me, reach out.”

“That’s the first time we’ve ever gotten an email from the governor himself,” Clark said. “So I took the opportunity and sent an email back asking about him being a guest reader.”

More:Nordonia Knights can tune in for superintendent’s story hour

A staff member with the governor’s office got back to him, and recently, Clark said he received an email with a recording of the governor and his wife, first lady Frances, reading “As an Oak Tree Grows” by G. Brian Karas. Clark said he recorded himself with Sir Readsalot, one of the puppets used during the streamed story hour, at the beginning and end, and spliced in the video of the DeWines reading from their home.

Superintendent Joe Clark introduces the guest readers for Thursday's Good Knight, Nordonia.

“I’ve been teasing this as the biggest guest reader we have had,” Clark said. He added that about 1,500 people tuned in  to listen. 

Eve Mueller, deputy director of communications, said that “As an Oak Tree Grows” is one of the books in the DeWine’s Imagination Library program, which was established in all of Ohio’s 88 counties this past November. With the program, all children ages birth to 5 can receive a free book in the mail every month.

The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program partnered with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in 2019 to take the program statewide. State lawmakers provided $5 million dollars in funding to match county funds so that books are provided at no cost to Ohio families. Non-profit organizations in each county administer the program.

To enroll children in the Imagination Library Program, visit OhioImaginationLibrary.org online.

To see Clark’s story reading program, visit Good Knight, Nordonia on Facebook on Thursdays at 7 p.m. to view the livestream. Clark said that initially, the program aired at 7:30, but he recently changed it to 7 p.m.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com