Education has taken a non-traditional approach with pop-up learning spaces that take youth outside of the classroom environment. In Detroit, this method is taking form in the laundromat.
Through the Wash and Learn program, an initiative launched by the Detroit Public Library and supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan, this unique learning style gives parents time to handle domestic responsibilities while children are engaged in educational activities with librarians.
“The beauty of this project is that librarians are going to where the people are.” – Kamilah Henderson, Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan
“The beauty of this project is that librarians are going to where the people are,” says Kamilah Henderson, senior program officer for the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan. “Librarians are the key to figuring out what the community needs. So this works out very nicely because they have a captive audience, and each neighborhood has a different feel to it.”
In 2017, Wash and Learn ran a successful pilot phase. It was a partnership between Libraries Without Borders on a national scale; Brilliant Detroit on the local angle and the Detroit Public Library. With their current grant, the program is in expansion mode and currently has three active locations: Coinless Laundromat on Oakman Blvd. in the North End community, Coin Laundry and Coin-O-Matic on Greenfield Rd. in the Grandmont/Rosedale neighborhood.