Get ready to ride the Booklyn Shuttle.
No, that is not a typo. Saint Nicks Alliance is planning to build a book-mobile that will drive around Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick offering reading material to kids in poor neighborhoods.
“This shuttle is aimed at addressing the literacy gap between young people with means and low-income young people,” said Saint Nicks Alliance spokesman Greg Hanlon, rattling off numbers that show having books in the house helps kids do well in school and in life.
The housing advocacy group hopes to drive the converted bus filled with books to schools, playgrounds, and community events to entice kids to take some tomes home.
Many of the books will be free for the taking, but the organization also plans to set up a lending system for more popular titles, such as the Harry Potter series. “It will be run basically like a library,” said Hanlon.
At the outset, the books on the shuttle will be aimed at elementary- and middle-school-aged reading levels, but the offerings might expand in the future, said Hanlon.
The total budget for buying and converting a bus is $225,000 and the group estimates it will cost an additional $100,000 to operate for the first year. Saint Nicks Alliance is asking for $198,000 from the Council’s participatory budgeting program, in which everyday Brooklynites vote on how to spend a sliver of the city’s funds, but said it will find other ways to come up with the cash if its neighbors are not swayed.
The group wants to get the books on the road by the end of the year.