The Uni’s purpose-built structure and growing collection of browsing books for kids and adults make it possible to turn on a dime and create an outdoor reading room almost anywhere. On Saturday, with Sam on tour, I brought the Uni out of storage myself and drove it in a truck to Broome Street and Sara D. Roosevelt Park, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There, with the help of many volunteers, we set up the Uni as part of a free, family event called “Readapalooza,” sponsored by the early education organization Jumpstart.

Uni in the "pit" at Sara D. Roosevelt park.

The Uni is made to partner, and this deployment was a great chance to see how the Uni could provide a venue for some of Jumpstart’s literacy programs, such as inviting kids to read Uni books aloud with Jumpstart’s trained volunteers.

Some of Jumpstart's volunteers, reading aloud to children.

Two of my favorite books in use: Not a Box, and (in the background) a little flip book showing a view of Buenos Aires, day-to-night.

Tangram puzzles are always a big hit.

College students from Pace, NYU, CUNY and Stonybrook - all Jumpstart volunteers - help load the Uni back into the truck.

And that was it! Jumpstart registered 150 families over the event’s 3 hours, most of which each had two kids in tow.¬†Thanks to Jumpstart for inviting us and hope to see some of these folks again at our Uni deployments in other parts of the city this summer. Stay tuned.

We're getting a "new" name... Street Lab.

The Uni Project is the work of Street Lab, a nonprofit launched in 2006 in Boston, where we created community-oriented programs for public space. In 2011, we migrated Street Lab to New York City and launched the Uni Project. The Uni began as a single, portable reading room and has since grown into a city-wide initiative offering more than 600 days of pop-up programming in 150+ public spaces across the city. In 2019, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.
 
For now, details about our programs are available here on the Uni Project web site. Soon, that content will move to www.streetlab.org. Thanks for sticking with us!