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Bridging the Word Gap 3.0

Community Partner #5:

Philadelphia Laundromats

Dr. Susan Neuman

Department of Teaching and Learning, Steinhardt School New York University


The project is designed to examine how a community-centered approach to intervention can affect family engagement in talking, singing, and reading with their children. This study takes place in 6 laundromats (3 treatment; 3 control). The first stage involves examining changes in the environment to support language and literacy (e.g. books, couch, magnetic letters; hopscotch); The second stage is to examine how reading captains–people from the local community may support child-to-child engagement, and parent-child talk in the laundromat.


Population Targeted:

Families of young children 0-5 who live in low-income neighborhoods.


Research Objective:

The purpose of the project is to encourage parent-child engagement, and child-to-child engagement in playful activities associated with language and literacy. In the past we have documented that children spend more time on these activities than in control sites. In this study, the goal is to determine whether reading captains in the community might support parent-child talking, singing, and reading with their child in and outside the laundromat.