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Elgin Partnership for Early Learning Language in the Laundromat Kickoff Outline Week of the Young Child


Elgin Partnership for Early Learning received a grant from The Elgin Township to offer rich language opportunities engaging children birth to five years old while doing their laundry, making wash time, talk time! Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail say, “This makes laundry time a valuable, yet often overlooked opportunity for parents and caregivers to engage their littlest learners in talking, reading and singing, and can turn this often tedious routine into a fun, educational experience!”




Collaboration Director of Elgin Partnership for Early Learning:  Amber Peters

Mayor of Elgin: Mayor David Kaptain

Elgin Township Supervisor: Franklin Ramirez

U-46 CEO:  Tony Sanders

Gail Borden Library Executive Director: Carole Medal


Invited Attendees without assigned speaking roles:

Proprietors of JetExpress-  Jim Cowen and Bill Norteman

Elgin Police Chief- Jeffrey Swoboda

State Representative Anna Moeller

State Senator-Cristina Castro

President of Advocate Sherman-Linda Deering Dean

U-46 Director of Early Learners-Peggy Ondera

United Way President and CEO-Lynne Bosley

YWCA of Elgin CEO-Julia McClendon

Coin Laundry Association-

Grand Victoria Foundation Executive Director- Sharon Bush

Easter Seals President and CEO-Theresa Forthofer

Alignment Collaborative for Education Executive Director- Nancy Coleman

Elgin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director-Carol Gieske


WHAT:           Ribbon(Clothesline) Cutting and Celebration of Elgin Partnership for Early Learning Language in the Laundromat project for birth to five-year-old children and their families, Week of the Young Child


WHEN:          Wednesday, April 18th 4:00 p.m.


WHERE:        JetXpress Laundromat 425 Dundee Avenue, Elgin, IL



OVERVIEW:   90% of brain growth occurs during the first five years of life. Furthermore, from the time a baby is born until he/she enters kindergarten is approximately 2000 days. We have to seize the moment and engage our children in rich language in every opportunity available. Learning starts at birth, so let’s get Elgin talking right in the laundromat.


Research shows there is a gap between the number of words that lower income children hear than their higher income peers. This leads to a gap in early vocabulary and kindergarten readiness.


Research shows that simple, everyday actions like talking, reading and singing to young children from birth can build their brains and set them up for success in school and beyond. We know that every child won’t be enrolled in an early education childcare setting before kindergarten so bringing opportunities to everyday places that families visit offers them an opportunity to engage their child wherever they go. Families spend an average of 2.5 hours at the laundromat so this the perfect place to promote meaningful interactions of talking, reading, singing, playing, and doing activities with their child while they wait for their laundry.


The Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail developed colorful educational messaging and partnered with the Coin Laundry Association to distribute “Talking is Teaching” posters and early literacy resources throughout laundromats. This program is parent/volunteer guided with messaging to engage children. Volunteers from the Elgin community are partnering with Elgin Partnership for Early Learning to provide resources to families such as story time and multiple opportunities to make as Too Small to Fail says, “small moments big.” These small moments are significant, meaningful engagement between parents and young children starting at birth through everyday activities like talking, reading and singing. We want these everyday activities to carry over to the grocery store, taking a walk, playing outside, or even when you are bathing your child. We have to make every moment count, big or small!


Elgin Partnership for Early Learning, JetXpress, Elgin Township and our community partners are turning Laundry Time in to Talk, Read, and Sing time!



Professor James Heckman of University of Chicago, “The highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families. Starting at age three or four is too little too late, as it fails to recognize that skills beget skills in a complementary and dynamic way. Efforts should focus on the first years for the greatest efficiency and effectiveness. The best investment is in quality early childhood development from birth to five for disadvantaged children and their families.” Elgin Partnership for Early Learning invites you to invest along with us in our greatest resources, the children and families of Elgin. Together We Can have all children ready for kindergarten!



  • To increase awareness about the importance of learning starting at birth, brain
    and language development, and to create positive change in both parents and communities.
  • To increase everyday meaningful engagement between parents and young children birth to five year old through everyday activities like talking, reading and singing

Media Contact:
Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
77 Riverside Drive, Elgin, IL 60120
(800) 217-5362 or (847) 695-7540

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