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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Wash & Learn Durham: Come Celebrate With Us!

We are thrilled to invite you to join us for the official launch celebration for Wash & Learn Durham! Join us this Saturday at The Wash House at 1839 Liberty Street or 2000 Chapel Hill Road for free laundry all day long, including free detergent! Plus there will be free lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., storytime and activities, and of course, free books! We’ll celebrate the official launch with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Liberty Street location at 1:00 p.m.

Wash & Learn Durham is a new program aimed at turning the time families spend in laundromats into literacy enrichment opportunities. The program is a partnership between Book Harvest, The Wash House laundromats, and international literacy organization Libraries Without Borders. Triangle Learning Network provided funding through its Catalytic Grants to help launch the program.

Although the launch of the partnership will be celebrated this Saturday, programming has in fact already begun. In November 2018, we set up free children’s bookshelves at both Wash House locations and began offering weekly story time on Saturdays at the Liberty Street location. We plan to add story time at the Chapel Hill Street location and introduce a tablet loaded with children’s literacy activities at both locations, and other community partners will soon offer craft-making and STEAM activities. Wash House owner Lee Williford shared why this partnership is important to his organization: “We work to deliver an excellent experience to each of our customers; this partnership with Book Harvest enhances that experience while providing an additional service to our communities.”

The Wash & Learn Durham program reflects our focus on meeting children and parents where they already are. “We know that families often spend significant amounts of time at places like laundromats, and we’re eager to partner with parents in capitalizing on that time as a literacy enrichment opportunity,” explained Book Harvest Program Director Rachel Stine. Since the program began, 32 children and families have taken advantage of story times, and children have taken home 2,793 free books.

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