The Uni reading room helps close achievement gaps by positively impacting the following factors identified by the National Education Association:

  • access to a learning environment that can support youth development outside of school;
  • access to books;
  • time kids spent reading and learning;
  • time others were able to devote to supporting and reinforcing learning;
  • experience with reading and learning;
  • students’ feeling that they are, in part, responsible for their own learning;
  • students’ TV watching and out-of-school reading;
  • availability of quality materials and culturally relevant materials;
  • availability of a culturally friendly environment (surveys told us that kids liked how the Uni was “in the neighborhood and that it felt “comfortable” for that reason);
  • sense of community safety (as one 7-yr old boy said, “no more fights, just books”).

Photos of Uni reading room at NYC play streets in 2014:




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 700 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 Thanks for sticking with us!