Video: More than a laundromat, South Memphis center strengthens community and childhood literacy

While caregivers wash clothes at the Social Suds Resource Center laundromat, children can interact with the facility's Pinwheel Playroom where they can play, read, and take home books provided by Porter-Leath's Books from Birth program. 

Related: "Combination laundromat and community center keeps South Memphis fresh"

By the third grade, less than 25 percent of Memphis children are reading at grade level, and many of these children live in low-resource neighborhoods where they have limited access to convenient and no-cost places to read and play. 

By meeting people where they are, the Pinwheel Playroom creates easy opportunities for families to read together. 

In September, The Urban Child Institute will open the city's second Pinwheel Playroom, to be located at the Broad Street Christ Community Health Clinic. They are seeking recommendations for two more locations. 

Support for this story was provided in part by the Urban Child Institute; it is one article in a series highlighting the impact and importance of early childhood education.  The Urban Child Institute focuses its grant making, advocacy and community support on kindergarten readiness and third grade literacy in an effort to improve the education, health and well-being of children and families in Shelby County.


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Forever Ready Productions is based in Memphis. It specializes in fast paced, timely content for non profits, small businesses and start-ups. The production company's founder, Lauren Squires Ready, has more than a decade of award-winning video journalism experience and uses that skill to help create an impact narrative for any mission driven organization. Visit for more information.