February 2020 Young Children Bulletin

Good Morning Fellow Kiwanians!

UPDATE READING CORNER IN LAUNDROMAT PROJECT IN NEW ENGLAND DISTRICT IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO ESTABLISH A READING CORNER!

The Manchester New Hampshire Club has established a Reading Corner in a local laundromat. Thank you to Laura Schneider-Nesmith and Marilyn Charbonneau for their work in getting the project up and running smoothly.

A Reading Corner has been set up in a local laundromat in Caribou, Maine with the help of a $200 grant from the Kiwanis a Foundation of New England. Thank you to Bill Francis and Club members for their work in maintaining this project. I’ve been told that this Reading Corner is so successful, that the owner of the laundromat has asked the club to set up a Reading Corner in another local laundromat. Kudos to club members!

  • The Mt. Washington Valley Kiwanis Club has set up a Reading Corner in a waiting area at their local hospital emergency room area. Kiwanians are innovative, and they modify projects to meet the needs of their communities. Kudos to Janice Andrews and Club members for their efforts!
  • Scarborough Maine Kiwanis has established a Reading Corner at the Scarborough Food Pantry. It is going well especially during the summer when children don’t have access to books.
  • The Danvers MA. Kiwanis Club haste up a Reading Corner on High  St. In Danvers. The project was spearheaded by a committee which included Janet Bennett and Mary Giangregerio. The very small area was set up using a magazine rack for the donated books from members of the Danvers Club. They put Kiwanis stickers on all the books.
  • Amesbury Kiwanis Club has set up a Reading Corner at the Hillside Launderette in Amesbury.
  • The Peabody Kiwanis Club sponsors one at the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody, MA.
  • The Methuen Kiwanis Club was happy to have completed another service project. The  Merrimack Laundromat and Car Wash on Burnham Rd in Methuen was the proud recipient of a book library.
  • A Laundromat Reading Corner has been established by the Saco River Valley Club in a Laundromat in Saco Maine. Donna Roberts received a $200 grant from KFNE to support the endeavor.
  • Hooksett, NH Kiwanis Club sponsors a reading corner at the Allenstown, NH laundromat.
  • Bangor Breakfast Kiwanis sponsors a Reading Corner at Darling’s Auto and builds the bookcases also.

IF YOUR CLUB HAS ESTABLISHED A READING CORNER, PLEASE SHARE THE INFORMATION WITH ME. I WILL PASS THE INFORMATION ALONG TO KIWANIS INTERNATIONAL TO UPDATE THE NUMBERS.

GREAT NEWS!
The Kiwanis Foundation of New England, through their Grant Program, has pre-approved   $1600  funding to help pay for the kits for the Reading Corners (total cost per kit ).A Kiwanis Club must fill out the KFNE Grant application with specific information about the laundromat location where the Reading Corner will be set up. Submit the completed application to grants@kfne.org. The grant  money will be distributed on a “first come, first serve” basis. Each Club may apply only once for this assistance. For more information go to www.kfne.org and click on grant program info.

I encourage you to establish a Reading Corner in a local laundromat in your community. The Reading Corner set up is a relatively low cost project ($200 or less) and can have a huge impact for local families and young children. Once set up you may find that your local library will supply your Club with gently used books, or Club member and friends can be asked to donate gently used books to replenish the supply of books. What better way to change a child’s life…to promote literacy and the love and joy of reading!

DIRECT LINKS TO THE BOOKCASE AND RUG CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE.

Creating Reading Corners in Laundromats to Boost Early Literacy, Numeracy and Parent Engagement with Young Children

A Perfect Fit with Kiwanis’ “Young Children” Program.

I encourage you to establish a Reading Corner in your local laundromat. Kiwanis no longer has a partnership with ReadyNation or the Coin Laundry Association (CLA), but the opportunity still exists for more Reading Corners to be established in local laundromats. Kiwanis Clubs can work directly with the local laundromat to provide the materials for the reading corner. You can get ownership information about a local laundromat at your TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE in order to communicate with the laundromat owner,

WHY ESTABLISH A READING CORNER IN A LAUNDROMAT?

  1. Parents spend time with their young children doing necessary chores at a laundromat. This time provides a wonderful opportunity for children and parent to spend quality time reading with appropriate books for young children to enjoy.
  2. The interaction at laundromats can promote not only basic literacy but also early math and science concepts that build different parts of the brain and complementary skill sets. Creating simple but attractive reading corners can help make the best use of these ordinary parts of the day to build both parental bonds and children’s skills.
  3. These reading corners are also attractive for laundromats because they set them apart from other competitors, offer a resource for customers, demonstrate their involvement in the community and engage children in productive activities.

MATERIALS NEEDED

Each corner would consist of an attractive book holder; a rug that promotes letters, numbers and geometric shapes (if space allows); and books that parents can use in the moment.  Books can be provided in various languages to meet the needs of the community. Kiwanis Clubs need to contact the laundromat owner personally and encourage them to participate. 

I strongly urge you not to order supplies until the laundromat has agreed. Kiwanis members are responsible for the costs of all supplies, including set-up and ongoing replenishment of books.   For consistency and quality, we ask that you order this book holder (2’ x 1’, about $30) and, if space allows, this rug (5’ x 6 1/2’ – optional if space is tight, about $55).  Both are available on Amazon.com (see links below).

Books need to be replenished if children take the books home. If’s ok if the books are not returned. Some children may not have books at home to read. Ownership of books is the first step to encourage the love and joy of reading!

You can get inexpensive new books several ways.  One of these is through www.FirstBook.org.  This organization sells new, quality books at very low cost – ordinarily you would need to be approved as an organization that serves disadvantaged children. 

 Other options recommended by other Kiwanis members are companies such as Reading Warehouse or Books-a-Million or Scholastic Literacy. A month supply of books can cost from $0 to about $50.  Books must not have religious, political or controversial themes, should include math/science topics, and should feature diverse characters in terms of race, ethnicity, physical ability, etc. Sponsors can also get used books through donations from employees or civic groups, as well as purchased at thrift stores, libraries, etc.  The laundromat owner and Kiwanis are responsible for any liability coverage or issues.

The Kiwanis member should give the laundromat their contact information and plan to visit the laundromat about once per month to replenish the supply of books.

Direct links on Amazon:

Please contact me if you have questions, or if I can assist you in any way!

Sincerely,

Ava Adams, District Chair
Young Children Committee
New England and Bermuda District
email: faithava2008@yahoo.com

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