Looking for Literacy in All the Right Spaces: The Laundromat

Susan B. Neuman, Maya Portillo, Donna C. Celano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Underresourced communities often have limited access to print and materials to promote children's early literacy development. Recognizing that the neighborhood is a unit of social change, organizations that engage families in early reading and learning with their children, therefore, have increasingly become part of the community landscape. Recently, efforts to promote early literacy have found families in a less conventional place: the local laundromat. The authors report on a study of six laundromats in low-income communities, three of which were transformed to include literacy-related play centers and three of which remained business as usual. Results indicated dramatic increases in literacy-related activity among young children as compared with control sites, demonstrating the potential of these sites to enhance children's opportunity to learn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalReading Teacher
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • 1-Early childhood
  • 2-Childhood
  • Community-based programs
  • Constructivism < Theoretical perspectives
  • Family literacy
  • Home-school connections < Family literacy
  • Language development < Oral language
  • Motivation/engagement
  • Oral language
  • Parental involvement < Family literacy
  • Program evaluation < Strategies, methods, and materials
  • Sociocultural < Theoretical perspectives
  • Socioeconomic factors < Family literacy
  • Theoretical perspectives
  • resources < Family literacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Pharmacology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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