PORT DEPOSIT — Let’s be honest, a kid hanging out at the laundromat while mom or dad washes and dries the clothes is not the most interesting part of the day.
Isaiah Johnson wants to change that by adding a miniature library to these businesses in Rising Sun and Perryville.
“I like to read,” Johnson, 11, said simply. “I’ve already finished the (Cecil County Public Library) Summer Reading program.”
As a member of Trail Life USA Troop MD-0408 he is working on his Timberline Award, the highest honor to be achieved for those in the Woodlands division of the Christian scouting organization. In a Court of Honor soon he will make the transition to Navigators.
“Timberline Award includes a community service project,” Johnson said. He already finished the fitness goals and has turned his attention to this project, which he has dubbed “Fluff, Fold, Read.”
Clean Enterprises on East Main Street in Rising Sun and Rt. 40 Laundromat in Perryville have given him permission to establish a “Fluff, Fold, Read” Center in their businesses. Meanwhile Johnson has been shopping for new and gently read books, but is also looking for donations.
“I have a Wish List on Amazon,” he said, adding that supporters have already ordered at least nine of his chosen titles. “And I have a donation bin at my church.”
Johnson is a member of New Life Faith Center, 1820 Jacob Tome Highway in Port Deposit where his grandfather is the senior pastor and his father is the associate pastor. It was during a brainstorming session with his family that he arrived at the laundromat library idea. He hopes to get enough donations to be able to steadily refill each location as youngsters will be invited to either read and return the book, or take it home.
“I’m looking for children’s books and young adult books,” he said. Popular series such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Wings of Fire came to his mind first.
“I am hoping to get together with my troop and build shelves,” Johnson said, envisioning the books in neat rows instead of in bins. With help from Joe Shepard Designs for the logo, he has been distributing fliers to promote Fluff, Fold, Read and organizing a regular maintenance schedule.
“The hardest part has been getting permission, but now it will be keeping it neat and clean,” he said.
For more information you can contact Johnson through his father, Shawn Johnson at 443-553-9951.