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Browns present $135,000 matching donation to support funding of the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library for East Cleveland City School District

Browns 'Get 2 School' Network and First Lady Fran DeWine visited East Cleveland City School District's Superior Elementary to announce support of Ohio Governor's Imagination Library

Through the "Get 2 School, Stay in the Game!" Network, the Cleveland Browns presented a $135,000 matching donation today to support funding of the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library in the East Cleveland City School District during a celebration of Tackle Reading Across America Day at Superior Elementary.

"Through the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library, we can help children create a passion for reading at an early age while also promoting the significance of family engagement to students' educational success," said Cleveland Browns Foundation Vice President Renee Harvey. "The 'Get 2 School' Network is founded upon our entire community working together to ensure kids are in school and prepared to succeed every day, and this partnership clearly shows that shared commitment to East Cleveland students at both the local and state levels." 

"Brain science shows us time and again that reading is critical to a child's success inside the classroom and beyond," said Ohio First LadyFran DeWine. "I am thrilled to be celebrating Read Across America Day with the students of Superior Elementary School and the Cleveland Browns Foundation. It is so exciting to see community organizations coming together to put more books in the hands of Ohio's kids."

As part of the day's festivities, the Browns – including Executive Vice President JW Johnson and T Kendall Lamm – and DeWine shared some of their favorite children's books with Superior Elementary School's pre-K students to emphasize the importance of reading and literacy.

The Ohio Governor's Imagination Library is dedicated to improving early childhood literacy by providing books to children across the state. Through East Cleveland School District's partnership with the "Get 2 School" Network, the Browns have committed to a matching contribution to assist families throughout the district who participate in the program.

"We are honored to partner with the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library and the Cleveland Browns Foundation to improve reading and literacy of our students," said East Cleveland City School District Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent Dr. Henry Pettiegrew II. "Through access to high-quality, enjoyable books, the students of East Cleveland City Schools are better equipped to succeed in school and life."

In partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library's mission is to put more books in the hands of Ohio children to ensure every student enters kindergarten ready to succeed. Caregivers can enroll kids from birth to age five to receive a new book each month by registering through ohioimaginationlibrary.org.                                

Through the "Get 2 School" Network, the Browns encourage students to get to school every day so that they can succeed in the classroom and prepare for the future. Studies show that young students who are in class each day ready to learn are twice as likely to be reading on or above their respective grade level by third grade.

The Cleveland Browns Foundation, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education and Harvard University's Proving Ground, comprise the "Get 2 School" Network. The group collaborates with districts across the state to raise awareness and remove barriers associated with chronic absenteeism, which is defined as students missing 10 percent of the school year for any reason. For more information about the "Get 2 School" Network, visit Get2School.org.

Tackle Reading Across America Day is an annual event where NFL teams, athletes, coaches and alumni visit elementary schools to share books with children and promote the significance of reading and literacy. All schools across the country are eligible to participate.

About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:

The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback

Education – The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed, highlighted by the "Get 2 School, Stay in the Game!" Network. The "Get 2 School" Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism. The team engages local schools and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive. To learn more, visit Get2School.org.

Youth Football – The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns' goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.

First and Ten – Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. To date, more than 2 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.

About the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library:

The Ohio Governor's Imagination Library was inspired by Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine's passion to improve the lives of Ohio's children. First Lady DeWine first learned about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library through her grandchildren's participation in the program at their local library in Greene County, Ohio. She saw the impact these books had on her own family and community and wanted every child across Ohio to have the same opportunities.

About Tackle Reading:

Tackle Reading is a book movement fusing the love and importance of literacy among youth with a passion for football. Held each March to celebrate Read Across America Day and National Reading Month, NFL teams, athletes, coaches and alumni across the country spend the day reading to local elementary schools.

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