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:




About our “new” name… Street Lab.

Street Lab began in Boston in 2006. In 2011, we moved the organization to NYC and launched the Uni Project, which was a portable reading room that roamed the city. In 2020, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.