Prizes in store for The Cov’s top young readers

Mayor’s Holiday Reading Challenge kicks off this week

COVINGTON, Ky. – The time has come once again for The Cov’s young readers and pre-readers to accept a mighty mission: The annual Covington Mayor’s Holiday Reading Challenge begins Wednesday with cool prizes ready to be won.

The challenge runs through Dec. 13 and is open to all Covington children Pre-K through Grade 3 who are enrolled in the free bilingual apps offered through the Read Ready Covington early childhood literacy initiative. The apps are CleverKidsUniversity (for ages 3 to 5) and Footsteps2Brilliance (ages 5 to 8).

Children can qualify to enter a weekly raffle for prizes by reading stories and playing games for more than 75 minutes each week while using the Footsteps2Brilliance or Clever Kids University apps. Raffle prizes include a $75 Walmart gift card, a t-shirt, a game or STEM kit, books, a yummy treat, and a notebook to chronicle the new words they’ve learned.

Covington kids rack up impressive numbers during the annual challenge. Last year, the 945 students who participated completed over 1,500 hours of reading, collectively read almost 3.9 million words and over 7,000 books, and played over 22,000 skill-building games.

“Each year, students dive into reading stories and improving their language, grammar, and comprehension skills through the citywide challenge,” said Mary Kay Connolly, Director of Read Ready Covington, the City’s early literacy initiative. “Seeing the smiles on the faces of the weekly winners warms our hearts and, more importantly, inspires those children’s classmates to participate more in the following weeks. The weekly incentives really make a difference.”

Connolly said the goal is to jumpstart use of the free apps and encourage regular use long after the reading challenge ends.

“Historically, we have seen this happen among students who participate at a consistent pace – usually just 15 to 20 minutes, five days a week,” said Connolly. “Ultimately, we will measure success if significantly more children in Covington are proficient readers by the end of the third grade.”

Connolly encourages local business to be part of the effort by displaying reading challenge signs, encouraging their employees to read with children, and donating toward items for prize baskets.

About Read Ready Covington

Besides the use of the apps, Read Ready Covington also organizes regular literacy events in housing communities around Covington, solicits donations of books to give out, and supports the increase of Little Free Libraries. It has installed several sets of metal signs around the city displaying words beginning with the 26 letters of the alphabet that are “collected” by young children as part of a literacy scavenger hunt.


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