THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — Some NYCHA playgrounds are getting libraries this spring, which will help children get a head start on reading. But a Bronx educator needs the community’s help to make it happen across the city.
Eighth graders at PS/MS 29 visited a playground across the street, at the Jackson Houses, and replenished a new outdoor playground library with books. It’s a small gesture the teens hope will make a big impact on younger kids in their neighborhood.
Kids flock to the playground after school; it’s a place to find community connection. Anthony Tucker, a Bronx assistant principal, came up with the idea to create “Playground Libraries” at the spaces back in 2018.
Now, he said there are now 10 NYCHA playgrounds, from East Harlem to the Bronx, that have them. Tucker donated 300 of the books himself.
“Growing up in public housing and knowing the lack of resources for kids like myself, I have to do this. I learned about community here in the projects … loyalty, kindness, all of that happens here in NYCHA developments,” Tucker said.
The president of the city-wide Council of Presidents, Danny Barber, said the books are a hit. He hopes the program will expand across the city.
“We need to reinvest in our young people,” he said. “They are the future, but we are not doing enough.”
You can donate to the project by contacting Anthony Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org.