Paint Club

Paint Club, our gateway program, is an innovative after-school program for under-performing inner-city schools. Participants transform their own institutional-looking schools and nearby community facilities by painting them with vibrant colors that they’ve selected together. Their work brings energy into their communities, and pride and a sense of ownership into their lives. As students transform their schools, they begin to transform themselves. Principals cherish the new sense of community Publicolor forms and the goal-oriented culture of determination we bring to each school. The idea is simple but the results are multi-layered.


During the week, Tuesdays to Fridays, Paint Club functions as an after-school program managed by highly trained Publicolor staff and focuses exclusively on working with the students whose schools we’re transforming. On Saturdays, Publicolor students, parents, teachers and volunteers paint side by side. Publicolor encourages our volunteers to talk about their jobs and the education they need to do their work. Research confirms that this type of high-level conversation between students and adults is a better predictor of academic performance than family income. Math and literacy are embedded in all of our activities, and our project-based curriculum is aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards. Through learning commercial painting students develop critical thinking skills and productive work habits.


500+ underperforming middle or high school students participate annually. 100% of our students are involved in service projects that revitalize their schools and communities. 9-10 schools throughout the five boroughs are transformed every year, changing not only the physical environment, but also the school culture for thousands of students and teachers. 90% of teachers surveyed reported that their expectations of Publicolor participants improved since the beginning of the program after seeing them productively engaged in a school-wide service initiative. For more information contact Cara Spitzer, Paint Club Community Relations Manager