"The children ask us to see what is beautiful and grand in them."
- Denis and Babette, Street Library volunteers
A Place to Gather
Street Libraries engage children and parents around books, computers, and art in neglected, under-resourced communities. As the Fourth World Movementís signature project, Street Libraries currently occur in New York City and had been active in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. Street Libraries developed from the principle of reaching towards a communityís aspirations and the aim of sharing knowledge in the heart of the community. The format is simple: colorful blankets on the ground, a communal time of reading and stories, followed by an activity promoting discovery, highlighting skills, and encouraging creative expression.
Behind the simplicity, however, are rigorous methods. Street Library volunteers from outside the community arrive at the same time every week, week after week. They invite all children, but keep a special eye out for those with the most difficulties. They solicit and rely on input and support from parents and other community members. They prepare achievable activities with quality materials.
From the collective art projects in which children work together towards the same goal The simple actions of Street Library program build a consistent, long-term, and trusted presence in low-income communities and with families struggling with persistent poverty. This relationship leads to further projects and partnerships that promote positive changes at different levels of society for families and communities in poverty. See video