Laundry and Literacy Coalition Launched
(December, 2018) 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 groups have been focused on the role of laundromats in promoting children’s early literacy development. Initiatives include:
- 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.
The organizations say they are 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 under-served communities. The Coalition is 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.” See coverage of this in a recent US News and World Report article.