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Pop-Up Reading Room Setting Up in Chelsea Park Each Week Through June

 The Uni Project brings carts filled with books and activities to public spaces throughout the city.
The Uni Project
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CHELSEA — A pop-up reading room is setting up in Chelsea Park once a week through the end of June.

On Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., the Uni Project — a nonprofit focused on community-building and education — will wheel its cart filled with books and art materials into the park between West 27th and West 28th streets and Ninth and 10th avenues.

Since Leslie and Sam Davol launched the project in 2011, the nonprofit has brought its carts into public spaces including Clement Clarke Moore Park and Penn South Playground more than 300 times, Leslie Davol said.

Kids, supervised by project staff members, can browse through books, draw, build with blocks and work on puzzles at portable tables and benches set up around the cart.

“It’s a really beautiful thing,” Davol said. “What I love about it is there’s just these great conversations between people who don’t know each other, and it’s because we have books, and they’re doing puzzles, and they’re drawing.”

“We’re trying to serve as many locations as possible,” she added.

On a few Wednesdays, the project will offer special STEM-focused activities, including “imagination playground” blocks for building, she said.

A mathematician is also expected to work with park-goers on spatial reasoning puzzles during one of the sessions.

Student volunteers from Avenues: The World School and a Uni Project staff member who grew up in Chelsea will be manning the Chelsea Park cart.

The pop-up is co-hosted by Green Below 14, Avenues and the Hudson Guild.

“Those activities kind of bring things out in people, and it makes for some great conversations,” Davol said.