The Uni Project has brought learning to NYC play streets since 2013, and this year we deployed our newest program BUILD NYC to play streets at Butler and Forest Houses (NYCHA) hosted by the Police Athletic League (PAL). One of our goals was to work with play street organizers to offer activities adjacent to the basketball court so that boys and girls of all ages could do something together. As it has done across the city, BUILD NYC has a way of bringing people together. As one organizer put it: “This makes the play street into a whole new thing. You’ve got the little kids sitting next to the teens doing the LEGO table. I love it, seeing the community like this.” We feel the same way, and we will look for more ways to work at NYCHA and with PAL in 2019.

Thanks to our terrific staff Elizabeth Reyes and Derrick Haynes for working these Bronx deployments. Derrick also teaches high school students at a summer program at Columbia University, and between shooting around and building with Magna-Tiles, Derrick reached out to youth at the play street about how they could attend Columbia in the summer.

Our work here was made possible in part with funding from the Building Healthy Communities/Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety through the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Learn more about how you can support BUILD NYC here.

Highlights from BUILD NYC at PAL play streets:

You can download these images here.

All blog posts and photo galleries from 2018 PAL play streets:

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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.