MABLETON, Ga. — Tucked against the wall of the 24/7 Coin Laundry in Mableton, Georgia is a new spin on literacy.
"Laundromat libraries" are popping up in South Cobb, a special project that creates a little library for K-5 students in local laundromats.
"We provide the books for the kids, and they can read the books while they're here," Henry Lust with the Kiwanis Club of Greater South Cobb explained. "And they can take them home to build up their libraries."
The project, a collaboration between the KCGSB, the United Way and Georgia Power, aims to help underprivileged children.
It's a cause dear to the heart of Deborah Pendergrass, an education coordinator at Georgia Power, who works with the company's Learning Power program.
"There are students that the only time a book is in their hand is in school," Pendergrass said. "Maybe going home, there's not a book at the home. Maybe the library is too far away, but if they go with their parent to the laundromat, there is another avenue.'
"I have gone into laundromats, and I have seen children just sitting around with nothing to do," she added. "But to put something in their hand, that is the most important thing. To give them a chance."
Currently, South Cobb families can find laundromat libraries in Mableton and Austell, but Lust said there are plans to expand to six locations.
The idea, he said, was inspired by a similar project from the Kiwanis Club in Marietta.
"We know reading is fundamental," Lust added. "The data says if children are not at grade level by third grade, then their chances of graduating diminishes. So we have put a lot of effort into our literacy program to try and boost he reading skills of children in South Cobb."