Established in 2018, Wash & Read meets underserved families where they are to give them access to free children’s books. The project was inspired by the national initiative of the Laundry Cares Foundation and the Coin Laundry Association.Women United adopted the Laundry Project, investing resources, recruiting laundromat owners, and teaming up with the New Bedford Free Public Library to ensure a consistent delivery of free, high-quality children’s books.
Wash & Read partner sites designate space for “reading corners” where young visitors are encouraged to read and take home free books. Wash & Read sites provide an opportunity for parents and children to have playful, yet meaningful interactions with reading while meeting their basic need for clean clothes. The average family spends 2.5 hours in a laundromat and many laundromats are located in low-income neighborhoods where access to books may be limited. By meeting families where they are, Wash & Read supports children and families overlooked by traditional literacy programming.
Book drives to support Wash & Read are held throughout the year at local businesses and among families and friends.
Since its inception, Wash & Read and has given out over 5,000 books to children who might not otherwise have access to books.
Wash & Read Locations
Bush Cleaners – 446 Dartmouth St. New Bedford
EZ Clean Laundromat – 80 Summer St. New Bedford
Friendly Laundry – 2301 Purchase Street, New Bedford
Wash World – 2112 Acushnet Ave. New Bedford
Wash World – 2 Rodney French Blvd. New Bedford
Wash World – 1214 Kempton St. New Bedford
New and gently used books for children birth to age 8 are collected year-round. Books can be donated at the UWGNB office located at 128 Union St. Suite 105, New Bedford. You can also purchase books from our Amazon Wish List and have them sent directly to our office. Click here to view our list. We are looking for books in all languages.
We also encourage businesses and schools to host book drives. We can provide you with collection bins, posters, and social media graphics to help promote your drive. Contact us to get started.
To learn more about Wash & Read or inquire about becoming a partner site contact Paula Montgomery at 508-994-9625 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org