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Kern Literacy Council is putting a "spin" on the typical laundry experience

The program, run by the Youth Literacy Committee, places bookshelves inside of laundromats to help kids expand their imagination during the spin cycle
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-06 14:20:47-05
  • Video shows Kern Literacy Council's Laundromat Library that allows kids to expand their imagination during the spin cycle.
  • The program, run by the Youth Literacy Committee, places bookshelves inside of laundromats to help kids pass the time while improving their literacy skills.
  • The first and only facility currently participating in the program is Soap Opera Laundromat in Lamont.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

When you think of laundromats you don't think of them as a place to improve your literacy—Kern Literacy Council's Laundromat Library is looking to do just that.

The organization is committed to tackling low literacy rates in the county with a variety of programs run by their Youth Literacy Committee.

"We're offering a couple of new programs such as the book vending machine program where we're getting some book vending machines into some schools and some community areas and there's also the Literacy in the Laundromat," said Carter Bearsley, chair of the committee.

He told me the goal of this program is to make books accessible to children in the community. "Laundromats are places where people gather and where lots of people come in and out including young children."

One of those places is Soap Opera Laundromat, the first and only facility currently participating in this program. The owner of the laundromat, Daniel Garcia Gonzalez said that children visit the location daily with their parents and have been gravitating towards the bookshelf.

"I always see that children run up to the stand to grab a book and then they go sit at one of our benches to read it. I am very happy that programs like these exist and I'm glad to be a part it," stated Garcia Gonzalez.

Melina Hernandez, tutoring network coordinator for Kern Literacy Council, says it's especially important coming back from the pandemic.

"A lot of students—especially after covid—have been impacted a lot," said Hernandez. "Especially when it comes to their imagination, literacy, educational background—I think it's important to impact the little places."

By little places, she means rural communities that lack access to certain services.

"As a county, we have really low literacy rates, and our rural communities are impacted by that pretty hard so this is an opportunity to again get books directly in the hands of community members," explained Beardsley.

Soon, Beardsley said Kern Literacy is looking to locate more bookshelves in various laundromats in Kern County.


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