The first Read, Play, and Learn space has opened in the City of Milwaukee in partnership with Riverworks Coin Laundry, located at 3334 N. Holton Street.

The Read, Play and Learn space was created by The City of Milwaukee’s Office of Early Childhood Initiatives, the LaundryCares Foundation, and Too Small to Fail, which is the early childhood initiative of the Clinton Foundation.

Alderman Cavalier Johnson was the primary sponsor of the legislation that created the Office of Early Childhood Initiatives and helped open the new center. He said The Read, Play, and Learn center was the first of its kind in the State of Wisconsin. Other centers are expected to open in Milwaukee in the near future, as part of a community-wide effort to meet families where they are.

“The space offers high-quality books and literacy-rich materials to enhance the learning of our children and youth, all while their families and other loved ones can do their laundry at the same location,” said Alderman Johnson.

The space was created to help bolster childhood literacy as well as to support children’s early brain and language development. The space is a part of the “Wash Time is Talk Time” initiative and was launched specifically by Too Small to Fail and the LaundryCares foundation, whose mission is to provide laundry services and education to families at a convenience.Like the Riverworks Coin Laundry location, each of the centers will be located within a city Promise Zone.

“Improving childhood literacy through expanded educational opportunities is one of the essential goals of the Milwaukee Promise Zones Initiative,” said Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton. “Kudos to Alderman Johnson and Riverworks Development Corporation for bringing this innovative space of learning and family connection to the community.”

President Hamilton sponsored legislation that created the Milwaukee Promise Zones initiative. He felt the new center would become a beacons of hope for children in the surrounding neighborhood.

“Bringing fun tools for learning and improving childhood literacy to the children is smart, targeted outreach, and I am very grateful to the Office of Early Childhood Initiatives, the LaundryCares Foundation, and Too Small to Fail for bringing this wonderful space to a deserving neighborhood,” said Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs of the 6th district.

The Read, Play and Learn space at Riverworks Coin Laundry is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Alderman Johnson urged the community to take full advantage of the Read, Play, and Learn space and its benefits to help create a brighter tomorrow for future students in the City of Milwaukee.

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Lee Matz