‘A’ is for apple (manzana)

Jah’Faye and her Mom with an alphabet sign “passport” book

((NEW LOCATION: Because of the anticipated thunderstorms, the Read Ready Covington walking tour event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today has been moved indoors at the Kenton County Public Library in Covington. 

Families with small kids can pick up the “passport” activity booklets today and can head out to “find and collect” the downtown alphabet signs, or hunt for them later in their own neighborhoods at their own leisure. (There are five sets of the signs around Covington.) 

(Prizes for completing the passport books will still be available. Kids can get their completed books stamped at City Hall and other locations (details soon) to receive a Read Ready Covington T-shirt and a coupon for free ice cream from Dari-Crest.) 

Also today, kids will receive storybooks, treats and other materials and can sit for storytime with librarians. Parents can walk among tables staffed by partnering organizations and agencies to get more information. 

The library is at 502 Scott Blvd. downtown and has a parking lot next to it, and a parking garage one block south.))

New maps, ‘passport’ books available Saturday help

kids hunt down Read Ready Covington alphabet signs
COVINGTON, Ky. – You can see them all around Covington: Small but colorful metal signs – placed at the eye level of a child – featuring words and corresponding pictures.
Given that the words each highlight a different letter of the alphabet, the signs are meant to be “collected,” scavenger-hunt style, until every letter is found.
But if you and your small children have walked yourselves weary looking for that last vowel or consonant you need to complete your “set,” the Read Ready Covington early learning initiative is coming to your rescue this weekend.
Simultaneous festivals on Saturday in Lewisburg and West Latonia will feature walking tours of the complete sets of signs in those neighborhoods, as well as distribution of booklets called “passports” containing maps of the signs’ locations, checklists that kids can use to mark off the words they find, and activities connected to the words.
Kids who collect signs for each of the 26 letters and complete their “passport” are eligible for prizes.
“We need to feed kids’ brains with fun, interactive learning experiences and activities,” said Mary Kay Connolly, director of Read Ready Covington. “The alphabet signs are already popular – we see kids taking pictures of them and drawing them now. The ‘passport’ books will sort of organize the signs and demonstrate how they’re connected to a bigger plan around childhood literacy.”
The events are geared toward kids preschool-3rd grade and run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at two places:
  • Barb Cook Park, at the corner of Ashland Avenue and Madison Pike.
  • Prince of Peace School, at 625 Pike St. 
There are five sets of signs all told in Covington, with the other sets located in the Peaselburg and Austinburg neighborhoods and throughout downtown. Two of the sets (the ones featured Saturday) also include corresponding words in Spanish.
Most of the signs also have unique QR codes that allow parents and grandparents to use mobile phones and tablets to access videos, clips of authors reading, registration for summer camps, and City of Covington swimming pool schedules. (To use a QR code – which looks like a set of small black squares in a square grid pattern -- open the camera function on your device and find the code in your viewfinder. When a link appears across the top of your screen, click on it.)
Connolly said events Saturday will also include storytelling and activities at tables set up by agencies and organizations that cater to children, such as the Kenton County Public Library.
The events happen rain or shine, unless the weather is severe.
“It’s going to be a really fun day that highlights a cool activity,” she said. “These signs are fun, and our Covington families are already enjoying them.”
About Read Ready Covington
  • Covington kicked off the Read Ready Covington early childhood literacy program in November 2018 with help from many partnering organizations as a way to get the City’s youngest children off to a better start in their school careers.
  •  RRC uses the Footsteps2Brilliance and CleverKidsUniversity apps provided free for Covington parents to both provide activities and reading exercises for kids and to help parents introduce reading skills. To register for the apps, click HERE.
  • RRC also organizes literacy events in housing communities, solicits donations of books to give out, and sponsors interactive features such as sidewalk murals and the alphabet signs.
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