Three national non-profit groups, the LaundryCares Foundation, the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail initiative, and Libraries Without Borders have launched a new Laundry Literacy Coalition. This new alliance was formed as a collaborative effort to make early literacy resources available to underserved communities through local laundromats in communities nationwide.
Since 2015, the LaundryCares Foundation, Too Small to Fail, and Libraries without Borders have been focused on the role of laundromats in promoting children’s early literacy development. Initiatives have included:
- Free Laundry & Literacy Day events at local laundromats throughout the United States hosted by the LaundryCares Foundation and Too Small to Fail;
- “Wash Time Is Talk Time,” an assortment of early literacy tools and resources distributed to over 5,000 laundromats through a partnership between the LaundryCares Foundation and Too Small to Fail, and;
- “Wash and Learn,” an initiative to extend library services to laundromats through a collaboration between LaundryCares Foundation and Libraries Without Borders.
These three organizations are now forming the Laundry Literacy Coalition to provide greater opportunities to deliver high-quality early literacy resources and outreach programs directly into local self-service laundromats in underserved communities. The Coalition is currently building an extensive network of local and national nonprofit organizations, academics, foundations, corporations, and laundromat business owners to help scale effective strategies and advance new research around early literacy promotion in laundromats.
“It’s an understatement to say that we’re excited about establishing the Laundry Literacy Coalition,” says Brian Wallace, the Executive Director of the LaundryCares Foundation. “This is only the beginning of the creation of more sharing and collaboration with authorities in early childhood development and children’s literacy. We intend to continue to add members strategically to this Coalition to serve more people nationwide.”
“Our work has shown that laundromats are important spaces with great potential to meet parents and families where they are to promote children’s early literacy development,” says Jane Park Woo, Deputy Director of Too Small to Fail. “We look forward to growing our partnership with the LaundryCares Foundation, Libraries Without Borders, and other organizations to launch new and innovative tools and strategies to promote children’s early literacy development through laundromats nationwide.”
“Life gets busy!”, says Allister Chang, Executive Director of Libraries Without Borders. “From last minute scheduling changes to transportation challenges, there are many reasons why parents don’t read, talk, sing, or play with their children as much as they’d like, or why families don’t complete literacy programs despite their best intentions. That’s why the work of the Laundry Literacy Coalition is so transformative—it creates new avenues that community organizations can use to reach families where they are, with information they want to learn.”
ABOUT LAUNDRYCARES FOUNDATION
The LaundryCares Foundation is dedicated to helping laundromat owners provide services through their stores such as Free Laundry Days and Childhood Literacy Resources to families in underserved communities. Visit us at https://www.laundrycares.org.
ABOUT TOO SMALL TO FAIL
Too Small to Fail, an early childhood initiative of the Clinton Foundation, promotes the importance of early brain and language development and supports parents with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth. Today, almost 60 percent of children in the United States start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language and reading skills. Through partnerships with pediatricians, hospitals, faith-based leaders, community-based organizations, businesses, entertainment industry leaders, and others, Too Small to Fail is meeting parents where they are to help them prepare their children for success in school and beyond. Whether at the pediatrician’s office or the playground, Too Small to Fail aims to make small moments big by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions anytime, anywhere. Visit us at https://www.toosmall.org.
ABOUT LIBRARIES WITHOUT BORDERS
Libraries Without Borders (LWB) works to ensure that regardless of their circumstances, people throughout the world can live with dignity and the opportunity to thrive through access to information, education and culture. More than a simple collection of books, a library is a tool that can be leveraged to fight instability and social inequality, allowing people to develop creative energies and build new livelihood skills. LWB focuses on building libraries and developing innovative tools, curating and creating content, and devising trainings that enable facilitators to share their expertise and bring libraries to life for people across the globe. LWB’s three main areas of intervention are: Humanitarian and post-conflict; Education and culture for all; and Social entrepreneurship. Visit us at https://www.librarieswithoutborders.org.
For additional information, please contact Dan Naumann at (630) 953-7920 or at [email protected].