“Every child should have access to books,” said Holmes Elementary teacher Natasha DeBoard when she learned that children living at the homeless shelter of Clinton County were missing books while living in the shelter.
DeBoard had heard about the laundromat libraries project, so she reached out to Karen Long, saying, “I know how you worked so hard to get books in laundromats throughout the county, and I have an idea about adding a bookshelf to the homeless shelter.”
DeBoard asked Long how she gathered so many donated books, because she wanted to do the same thing for the homeless shelter. Long invited DeBoard to get started with the books that they had collected for the laundromats, most of which are being stored at the Wilmington News Journal offices on Rombach Avenue.
In addition, Long invited DeBoard to use a recently donated bookshelf from retired Clinton-Massie intermediate teacher Kay Stotts. The plan was coming together!
“Academics is just one of the very important benefits of children having access to books, but it’s more than that,” said DeBoard. “A book is comfort. It’s love, It’s like a hug on a bad day. Books mean so many things to children. This is why getting books in the laundromats in our community was so important.
“When I learned that there was a need for books in the homeless shelter, I thought it would be another great way to get books available to even more children in our community.”
While DeBoard taught her students at Holmes on Thursday afternoon last week, Karen Long and Darlene Pitzer, case manager at the homeless shelter in Wilmington, set up the bookshelf with books for kids from birth to teenagers. As Darlene stood back to look at the bookshelf she shared, “The kids are just going to love this when they come home from school today!”
DeBoard will join the other laundromat librarians, taking charge of stocking and restocking the bookshelf at the homeless shelter as needed. “This project is very near and dear to my heart,” she said.
The books on the shelves at the homeless shelter can be customized to meet the needs of the current residents, their age. interests and reading levels.
Community members can donate books to the laundromat libraries and the homeless shelter by dropping off new and gently used children’s books at the Sabina Public Library, the Wilmington News Journal, or the Art House in Wilmington.
You can contact the laundromat librarians directly at [email protected] .