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Laundromats in Rapid City, Belle Fourche, Spearfish, and Sturgis are now stocked with a library box of books for children and their families to enjoy while doing their laundry.

The effort was initiated as a service project by members of the Crow Peak Valley Rangers 4-H Club based in Spearfish.

Club member Bennett Gordon of Whitewood saw the “laundromat library” idea online and sought permission from laundromat owner Clark Sowers, who eagerly supported the idea. Gordon then suggested his 4-H club conduct a book drive to start the effort.

More than 100 books were collected and are now available at the four laundromat facilities, which include Laundry World in Rapid City, Spearfish Laundry, Sturgis Laundry, and Belle Laundromat.

Similar to the “little free library” program, Gordon said kids are encouraged to read while at the laundromat, or pick a book to take home and read. Kids can then return the book to the laundromat library or pass it on to a friend.

Gordon, a seventh grader, hopes that not only will the project help kids find joy in reading, but it will also help people recycle gently used books for this beneficial purpose.

4-H members intend to restock the library boxes with additional books throughout the year.

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