GREENVILLE, S.C. – To support children’s literacy, the Wash, Rinse, and Read team, a community action team of the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, is opening a family friendly reading corner at Laundry Plus in Greenville. A public launch event to celebrate the project will be held 4-6 p.m., Tuesday, March 14, at 677 Howell Road.
During the launch event, families will be able to do three free laundry cycles and children will receive gift bags that include free books.
The “Read, Play, Learn Space” is outfitted with lounge furnishings and 50 new and culturally affirming books, meant to create a welcoming atmosphere where families can relax and learn while spending their time at the laundromat. Because the program’s planners expect and encourage families to take the books home to support continued learning, they have made provisions to replenish the books on a monthly basis.
The Greenville space to be launched on March 14 is the first “Read, Play, Learn” space in South Carolina and was made possible through the collaborative efforts of, Furman University’s Riley Institute, Laundry Cares Foundation along with Too Small to Fail, Laundry Plus, First Steps of Greenville County Michelin, Pelham Medical Center, South Carolina Ports Authority, and Public Education Partners.
In addition to creating a project to directly support children’s literacy in Greenville, one of the Wash, Rinse and Read team’s top priorities was to create a program that could be brought to other communities across the state. To facilitate this possibility, the team also developed a business plan playbook to help others who would like to create similar programs in their neighborhoods.
Dan Naumann, Executive Vice President of Laundry Cares Foundation states: “We are both honored and thrilled to partner with the team from the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative for the first of its kind partnership in South Carolina and in the United States. This innovative collaboration allows us to bring critical early learning materials to children who need them most and to support families throughout the Greenville community. This is a model other communities can easily replicate to help amplify the commitment to driving successful family engagement in communities.”
Riley Institute DLI community action team members for the Wash, Rinse and Read project include Will Angelich
(South Carolina Ports Authority), Barbara Chappell (Butler Academy), Julie Lonon (The Nature Conservancy of
South Carolina), Chuck Morrow (Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System), Qena Jennings (Public Education
Partners), Jennifer Olmert (Upstate Mediation Center), Kate Kaufman (Michelin), and John Thomas (Self Regional
Laundry Cares is a nonprofit whose mission is to enrich communities around the country through programming that addresses the unmet needs of laundry customers.
The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative is an award-winning program that equips leaders from all sectors of South Carolina society with tools and perspectives to leverage diversity to improve organizational outcomes and drive social and economic progress in the state.
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