Leah’s Laundromat in Kansas City, Kansas combines laundry and learning for kids

ByMelinda D. Loyola

May 26, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A small business in Kansas City, Kansas, is trying to make a difference in the community by combining laundry with learning.Families come here to Leah’s on Quindaro Boulevard to do their laundry but the owners care about more than clean clothes.While parents are busy at the machines, children are in a learning center set up within the laundromat. It’s a simple way to promote literacy. When approached about the idea, co-owner Leah McPherson didn’t hesitate.”I was, ‘Yes, please can we do it?’ But that’s the education background in me. I was so excited,” McPherson said.The laundromat has been open for a year. There are a lot of children in the community and a lot of families come here. The read-play-and-learn space is a new program launched by the Laundry Cares Foundation. This is the first in the metro. McPherson, who is a former educator, said she knew it would be a hit.”When I first thought about opening a laundromat, I thought what can I do different that’s going to have the attention of a child. Not technology, something where they can actually visualize and see, and that’s books, puzzles, puppets, counting socks with their parents, and so all of those things come in place when you think of literacy,” McPherson said.Children can read and play. They can even take the books home.”I think kids want to learn. It’s about us putting it in front of them to learn. So it didn’t surprise me that when kids came in that they would gravitate to this space. It was just us having it here for them,” McPherson said.Thanks to various community partners including KCK Public Schools and libraries, Leah’s will get 50 to 100 new books every month. Over the summer months, the laundromat is singing up volunteers to come in and read to the children.

A small business in Kansas City, Kansas, is trying to make a difference in the community by combining laundry with learning.

Families come here to Leah’s on Quindaro Boulevard to do their laundry but the owners care about more than clean clothes.

While parents are busy at the machines, children are in a learning center set up within the laundromat. It’s a simple way to promote literacy. When approached about the idea, co-owner Leah McPherson didn’t hesitate.

“I was, ‘Yes, please can we do it?’ But that’s the education background in me. I was so excited,” McPherson said.

The laundromat has been open for a year. There are a lot of children in the community and a lot of families come here. The read-play-and-learn space is a new program launched by the Laundry Cares Foundation. This is the first in the metro. McPherson, who is a former educator, said she knew it would be a hit.

“When I first thought about opening a laundromat, I thought what can I do different that’s going to have the attention of a child. Not technology, something where they can actually visualize and see, and that’s books, puzzles, puppets, counting socks with their parents, and so all of those things come in place when you think of literacy,” McPherson said.

Children can read and play. They can even take the books home.

“I think kids want to learn. It’s about us putting it in front of them to learn. So it didn’t surprise me that when kids came in that they would gravitate to this space. It was just us having it here for them,” McPherson said.

Thanks to various community partners including KCK Public Schools and libraries, Leah’s will get 50 to 100 new books every month. Over the summer months, the laundromat is singing up volunteers to come in and read to the children.