Painting Schools and Helping Children Graduate
An armed student walks around a high school in the Bronx – yes, armed, but with a
paintbrush and an arsenal of paint. The smile on his face is unexpected as he attacks
the walls and doors in the hallway of the school with color and design. One might
expect a school official to stop him from destroying school property, but this young man
is actually part of a non-profit organization called Publicolor, which paints and thereby
enhances schools in the greater Manhattan area.
The non-profit not only raises money and receives donated paint from a variety of
sources, but the people who help Publicolor are usually students (some begin as early
as 8th grade) and they have a great list of statistics to help showcase the benefits of
Publicolor, not only on the aesthetics of the school but on the lives of the students
themselves. 100 percent of the students in Pubicolor programs went from 8th grade to
9th grade on time, and 100 percent from 9th grade to 10th grade on time. 90 percent
of the high school seniors in Publicolor programs graduated on time, compared with 63
percent over all at their schools, and 81 percent went on to two- or four-year colleges,
compared with 49 percent of their classmates who were not involved with Publicolor.
The Publicolor students tended to stay in college, and 67 percent eventually graduated.
It’s encouraging to see great new non-profit organizations rising up to influence and
affect the lives of young people in challenging environments. Additionally, Publicolor
assists the environment by providing a better physical space for students, while the
students that volunteer also benefit through contact with other like-minded students and
adults. The results are very clearly expressed by the statistics listed above. Big thumbs
up 4 Publicolor – color our world!