The transformation begins
Our gateway after-school program hosted in the city’s most struggling schools. For 10 weeks, the schools’ most disengaged students paint all the public spaces in their schools and learn the marketable skill of commercial painting. The vibrant and energizing colors transform their once institutional-looking schools into welcoming learning environments. Principals cherish the new sense of community and safety, along with the culture of determination Paint Clubs create. Participants are themselves transformed as they work with our caring staff, and learn strong and transferable work habits.
COLOR Club (Community of Leaders Organizing Revitalization)
Building a foundation for success
Our 3-day-a-week, multi-year after-school program for at-risk Paint Club graduates in 7th, 8th and 9th grades that prepares the students for success in high school. COLOR Club offers academic supports and career exposure and life-skills workshops designed to help students plan and prepare for a rewarding future. On Saturdays, students continue to develop their work-readiness and leadership skills as they paint alongside corporate volunteers at Paint Club sites and underserved community facilities.
Preparing for college + career
Our apprenticeship program for at-risk students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades that follows the 3-day/week, multi-year COLOR Club model. Next Steps offers innovative workshops designed to help participants develop a clear understanding of personal career goals and what it takes to realize them, while also building leadership and work-readiness skills, career exploration, and preparing for success in college or a trade. Next Steps offers weekly academic supports, intensive SAT prep sessions both during the year and over the summer, and hosts 2 multi-day, multi-campus college tours per year. High school seniors and college freshmen are paired with mentors who are successful professionals in the students’ desired careers.
Combating summer learning loss
Our 7-week college-level summer enrichment and project-based learning program is an effective antidote to summer learning loss. Morning classes are held at Pratt Institute where students are immersed in literacy and math through the scaffold of product design. Publicolor emphasizes the use of design for social change. All students also learn the fundamentals of the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) and all learn the basics of 3D printing. SDS also offers participants crucial summer employment. Afternoons are dedicated to painting under-resourced but vital community facilities including city-run homeless shelters, day-care centers, as well as schools. Each Publicolor student devotes 300 hours a year to community service. There’s no program in the country like it!
Our semi-professional painting crew, comprised of seasoned apprentices selected for their demonstrated leadership and work-readiness skills, teaches the students entrepreneurial skills needed to run their own painting business that can help defray college expenses. These accomplished painters are paid hourly wages and touch up previously Publicolored schools and community sites, thereby extending the power of our transformations for thousands more to experience.
Making college possible
Graduating high school seniors are paired with mentors and awarded a 5-year gap scholarship to support their success in college or a post-secondary accreditation program. Providing a pathway to their chosen career ensures that Publicolor students break out of the cycle of poverty and into the middle class.