Former President Bill Clinton visited three New York locations last week, including a Deer Park laundromat, to promote various Clinton Foundation programs. At Laundro Lux, he helped unveil a new reading area available to children for reading and playing while parents do laundry.
Around 100 people gathered in the laundromat to see the former president, who didn’t make formal remarks, but read a book to local children in attendance. He talked with the kids about what they’d like to be when they grow up, and read the book, “The Wonderful Things You Will Be” by Emily Winfield Martin.
Laundro Lux in Long Island is partnering with Too Small to Fail’s “Wash Time is Talk Time” initiative and the LaundryCares Foundation, to encourage parents and caregivers to turn laundry time into meaningful opportunities to talk, read, and sing with their children.
The new space, a “Family Read, Play & Learn” area, are playful learning areas designed to help prompt language-rich activities between young children and their parents/caregivers. These spaces include a sofa, bookshelf with bilingual children’s books, puppets, crayons, blocks, magnetic letters/numbers, and posters about fun ways to help children learn during laundry time.
TSTF, in partnership with the LaundryCares Foundation, are aiming to have 600 spaces implemented by the end of 2020. As of this month, there will be five laundromats in New York City that feature Too Small to Fail’s “Family Read, Play & Learn” spaces. New York City also served as the testing ground for the first formal evaluation of early literacy spaces in laundromats ever conducted. Findings from this evaluation revealed that “Family Read & Play Space” significantly enhanced children’s time spent on literacy-rich activities that support school readiness, according to the Clinton Foundation.
In New York, TSTF also partners with diaper banks, playgrounds, early childhood centers, health clinics, and more to promote young children’s early brain and language development. The program is expected to reach more locations on Long Island over the next year.