On May 31, the Uni was invited by Hunts Point Alliance for Children to visit a neighborhood where books are scarce and kids are underperforming across all grades in reading and writing. The first-ever Hunts Point “Book Bash,” featured some of our past partners, La Casa Azul Bookstore, and Jumpstart, as well as others with a long history of promoting literacy in the city. The Uni offered a place to sit and read. Volunteers Stephanie Yee and Emily Jacobson read aloud. Nadine Hibbert and boys from George Jackson Academy helped us as well. Local kids circulated between reading, visiting activity tables, and running through the playground.

HPAC LogoAt one point, I noticed an older boy quietly reading a book about ships. ‘If you like ships,’ I said, ‘you might like this one about the Titanic. It sank.’ After quietly reading with us for about 20 minutes, he noticed that other kids had handmade books at an activity table. He disappeared. At the end of the day it started to rain, and I noticed that the book about the Titanic was gone. As we rolled out, the boy ran up to me with our Titanic book in hand. He showed me another book he had written and drawn on his own about the Titanic, complete with a table of contents, chapters, and full page illustrations. He had a big smile on his face and so did I as I returned our Titanic book to the collection.

Penguin Random House CompanyThanks to HPAC for inviting us, and to Penguin Random House for supporting our work and making our participation in events like this possible. Photos below.

 

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Our friends from Casa Azul Bookstore set up nearby.

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

 

Hunts Point Bronx Uni

Thanks to our terrific volunteers. Here, a young girl turns the tables and reads to our volunteer Stephanie Yee.

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!