Bronx Clean Rite Center unveils Read, Play & Learn space plus new educational programming

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Clean Rite Center on East Tremont Avenue unveiled a new reading and learning area for children – a Family Read, Play & Learn space.
Photo Adrian Childress

Clean Rite Center, located at 1240 E. Tremont Ave. is encouraging children to take home a free book as part of a nationwide movement to bring learning to local public laundries. The laundry unveiled a new reading and learning area for children – a Family Read, Play & Learn (RPL) space – and announce upcoming family story time sessions and financial education programming on Saturday, April 2. 

 A ribbon cutting and unveiling was followed by a presentation by the Qualitas of Life Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving Hispanic family financial security. The talk overviewed a free, 8-week financial education program for customers that’s soon to start at the laundry. Upcoming storytime sessions for children and families, led by librarian Sherice White, of Clason’s Point Library, are also scheduled bi-monthly on Fridays at 4 p.m., beginning April 8. These events are free and open to laundry customers.

“The root of Clean Rite’s entire success is in the communities we’ve served for the past 25 years,” said Alex Weiss, owner of Laundry Capital Co. LLC (Laundry Capital), parent company of Clean Rite. “Any time we can find an opportunity to give back to any of these communities, we think it’s truly important to do so.”

The new RPL space at Clean Rite is designed by the Laundry Cares Foundation and Too Small to Fail to support children’s early brain and language development.Photo Adrian Childress

The new RPL space at Clean Rite is designed by the Laundry Cares Foundation and Too Small to Fail to support children’s early brain and language development. The space includes a comfortable seating area, high-quality books, toys and other materials designed to help parents engage in literacy-rich interactions with their children during laundry time. It features books from Scholastic Corp., which children are encouraged to take home, as well as furniture and toys from Lakeshore Learning.

“We want to meet families where they are and a laundromat is a place, especially in New York, where families congregate,” White said. “During this waiting period, which can be upwards of two hours or more, we have an opportunity to engage with kids and spark an interest in reading and learning that we hope will last a lifetime.”

RPL spaces, which are popping up in laundries throughout the U.S., are important because 60% of American children start kindergarten underprepared, according to the Clinton Foundation’s early childhood initiative Too Small To Fail. Moreover, research shows that 80% of brain development occurs before the age of five, which makes this time critical for children’s future success and learning. 

“By increasing language-rich, meaningful interactions with their children during the early years, parents can support their little ones’ learning and development and prepare them to learn, grow and thrive in school and in life,” said Too Small to Fail Partnerships Manager Nikki Hasani-Ferrera.

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