Wednesday, February 5, 2014

literacy and outdoor reading rooms

As part of  Park Chelsea effort to offer more recreation opportunities  for  residents of Chelsea we've  wanted to create outdoor reading rooms (aka  ReadFi hotspots) for kids.

Initially we thought that the creation of outdoor  reading rooms would just be an additional  recreation possibility. then we read this...
Access and poverty

Research consistently shows that children who live in low-income neighborhoods have little access to reading material in their public libraries, in their schools, and at home. After investigating access to reading material in different neighborhoods, Neuman and Celano (2001) concluded that that " ... children in middle-income neighborhoods were likely to be deluged with a wide variety of reading materials. However, children from poor neighborhoods would have to aggressively and persistently seek them out" (p. 15).
If more access leads to more reading, and if more reading leads to better reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and a larger vocabulary (for overwhelming evidence, see Krashen, 2004), this means that the first step any literacy campaign needs to take is to make sure children have access to plenty of books. link

As it turn out the west side of Manhattan including Chelsea is a library poor community.

 To offer more public reading opportunities here are several experimental ReadFi hotspots  that we've set up. .  We've applied for a grant and if we get it we intend to install a network of permanent ReadFi hotspots throughout Chelsea.

 Penn Station South Playground
 Every weekend a extended family makes Penn South Playground their backyard. We placed a ReadFi hotspot there on a few weekends here's some photos.

Elliott Chelsea Houses
The NYC Dreamcenter offer