CINCINNATI — A local organization donated more than 300 books about notable black figures to third-grade students at Mount Healthy South and North Elementary Schools.

On Wednesday, Top Ladies of Distinction Vice President Gwen Ivory Robinson dropped off boxes full of books for the students as part of an initiative to increase literacy and cultural awareness.

“We want to enrich their lives by the choices that their teachers are going to be making as they look at books and try to match them with children’s talents and their skills and this is part of encouraging, but also opening new doors,” Robinson said.

What You Need To Know

  • The Cincinnati Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction donated books to Mount Healthy South and North Elementary Schools

  • The 300-plus books were all about notable black figures
  • The organization and the school district hopes the books will help the students get excited about reading and become culturally aware

  • The books will be handed out to the third-grade students when in-person classes resume in January


All 300-plus books donated by the Cincinnati Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction will be handed out to the students.

Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Jana Wolfe said they will be a great help to the students because improving literacy is one of the school district's top goals.

“When they reached out to us about giving us books that are more culturally relevant for our kids, we were so excited because we know this is something where they’ll look at these books and have a great interest in them,” Wolfe said.

Improving literacy is really important for this school district because Wolfe said the students are not always on a reading level when they begin kindergarten. 

“When our littlest ones come in they are behind so we do push really hard to get them caught up because again all of the statics out there for any student, whether it’s an economically disadvantaged student or not, if you’re not on target by fourth-grade the chances of you ever getting on grade level is very slim,” she said.

Overall, Wolfe hopes the books improve reading scores and help students become more culturally aware.

“There is so much that’s not in our current textbooks in the buildings so this will be a chance for all of our students to learn about each other,” she said.

The parents were supposed to pick up the books on Wednesday, but that was canceled because of the snow. Students are expected to get the books in person when classes resume in January.