Free holiday bookstore for Covington parents

Posted By

Jacob Brooks, Group Vice President of the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, and Tami Chapman, senior program director at R.C. Durr YMCA, pose with some of the books collected by the branch for Read Ready Covington. 

YMCA collections benefit Read Ready Covington

COVINGTON, Ky. - Thanks to two regional YMCA branches, Covington parents or care-givers looking to put books under the tree for their children this Christmas will have a large selection to choose from on Tuesday at a free Popup Holiday Bookstore.
The bookstore - from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Center of City Heights - is open to parents in the City Heights and Latonia Terrace housing complexes or who participate in the Covington HOME program.
It’s part of a City-sponsored campaign called “Read Ready Covington” that is mobilizing the community to use reading to better prepare Covington’s children for kindergarten.
“Books are treasures,” said Mary Kay Connolly, who is coordinating the initiative. “Parents and others who give them as gifts and take the time to read those books to their kids, if necessary, are introducing their children to a life of adventure and fun.”
Over 700 books for Read Ready Covington’s holiday bookstore were collected by the Campbell County and R.C. Durr (Burlington) branches of the YMCA.
Connolly said both branches of the YMCA responded with high levels of energy and enthusiasm to collect the books.
“Read Ready Covington is going to succeed - we’re going to see tangible results - because organizations like the YMCA are stepping up,” she said. “They’ve been incredible to work with.”
Staff at the Housing Authority of Covington have also been vital partners in the effort to date, Connolly said.
The event will have free shopping and wrapping stations with books geared toward children from birth to age 8. Hot drinks and cookies will also be served.

Jack Estael, associate executive director of the Campbell County YMCA, holds a handful of the hundreds of books collected in Campbell County.

About Read Ready Covington
Covington launched the childhood literacy initiative on Nov. 8 during an event at The Carnegie that unveiled a visual brand and marketing campaign and a call to action for nearly two dozen partnering organizations who have signed on to the effort.
The initiative has two measurable goals: To increase the percentage of children who enter kindergarten prepared and able to do the work, and to increase the percentage of children reading on grade level by the end of the third grade.
The foundation of the campaign will include the use of free early literacy apps for parents living in Covington zip codes. The apps - Footsteps2Brilliance/CleverKidsUniversity - are designed to help parents introduce reading skills to their young children and share time reading together.
Posters with the words “Read Ready Covington” (or “Listo A Leer Covington”) are appearing in storefront windows around the City.
To get a poster, or for more information about Read Ready Covington or the Footsteps2Brilliance literacy apps, contact Mary Kay Connolly at
Using the apps:
Many children in Covington are already registered for the apps. These include children who participate in the federal Head Start program, who attend the James E. Biggs Early Childhood Education Center, or are in kindergarten, 1st grade or 2nd grade in one of Covington’s public and parochial schools. Parents can log in with their child’s “super secret” code to enroll themselves.
Covington residents who have children attending day-care centers or who are not in any early childhood program in the City can go to to create free parent and children accounts.
# # #