Blue Manatee resurfaces with mission as nonprofit literacy initiative

The “recently hibernating” blue manatee children’s bookstore in Oakley has relaunched as the Blue Manatee Literacy Project.

John Hutton and Sandra Gross, owner of the blue manatee, passed the baton to start-up “junkies” and childhood literacy supporters Kevin Kushman and Amanda Kranias and the Blue Manatee Literacy Project because “BMLP’s vision elevates the purpose of the store to benefit children well beyond our current customer base,”  Hutton said.

BMLP was launched by a team of educators, reading and early childhood experts, tech veterans, physicians and nonprofit leaders to enhance early literacy among at-risk children in Cincinnati. The project aims to help address the gap in reading readiness and proficiency among Cincinnati’s underserved children.

The Blue Manatee Literacy Project bookstore will include familiar story times, author/illustrator visits and community events. It also will sell books, toys and gift items, with 100 percent of profit directed towards the BMLP mission.

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