Publicolor, a nonprofit group, is changing schools in New York City one brushstroke at a time.
The endeavor seems best understood in the words of those who are directly involved.
"We go into marginalized and underserved communities here in the New York City area and we transform public spaces through energetic colors," says Verushka Gray, a site leader for Publicolor.
"And hopefully we also transform the culture in that process. You go from a dark, dreary hallway as opposed to a hallway that's now, say, citrus blast. It's a totally different experience."
Students are not bystanders in the process. They come on Saturdays to help paint, side by side with older teens and corporate volunteers. And from the beginning, students help pick out the paint colors for their school.
"It makes them feel as though what they say matters," says Verone Kennedy, principal of a school that Publicolor transformed. "You can see it on their faces. They wear the confidence.... it's much more than just putting paint on a wall. It's changing lives. It's changing students."
"We're not only transforming places -- we're transforming people, as well," says Ruth Lande Shuman, founder and president of Publicolor.
It starts with paint and proceeds with person-to-person relationships, which are what make this more than just a large-scale renovation project.
Check it out for yourself:
- Mary Pasciak