Our Goal is to make books available to children who have little or no access to books at home. We have created a network of laundromat libraries. Children can borrow a book, return it and take home another.
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“There’s a very strong association between behavior problems and academic achievement,” says Deborah Stick, former dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Ms. Stick and Sara Miles collaborated on research published in 2006 that followed children from first through fifth grade.
“Our theory was that kids who are struggling as readers …” develop frustration and a negative relation to school. “It sort of snowballs,” Miles said. They get more off-track as they get older. “It can lead to low self-esteem and an antagonistic relation with school."
Our laundromat libraries are in some of the most severely underserved communities in Pennsylvania, as well as in Arkansas, California, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. The Laundromat Library League seeks to encourage children's literacy at a fundamental level with free books. It is a small but important link in a support network to encourage livelong learning.
The LLL places "Library Boxes" in laundromats and occasional other sites. A deliverer monitors these twice a month and, when needed, delivers a bag of replacement books to refresh the box. From time to time a "sort and sticker" session of volunteers is convened to place the LLL sticker on received books, sort them, and place them into bags for eventual use. Each replacement bag has the full range of books from toddler to teen, fiction and nonfiction.
If you drive near a laundromat in your monthly travels, you can help us deliver. If you are part of a community which may have books to share, you can be an important part of our expansion. Our need for books is ongoing. Each of the volunteers makes up their own schedule. We are as flexible as we are grateful for your time.
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