Monday, May 6, 2013


When did the play, color and creativity of kindergarden get bleached from the educational environment?   In primary schools for young children teachers typically decorate their rooms with student art and visuals that relate to the curriculum.    The thought is  lively images  are fun and help children create positive associations with learning. But what about high schools? Some  high school have let the color drain away and schools have become an institutitional shadow of their former selves. Its definitely a problem, and Publicolor is here to help.

The before
Publicolor is a not-for-profit  organization using color and design based programs to help under-performing schools reinvigorate their campuses.   The kids experiencing these enhanced environments increase college and job preparedness. They  believe, and they have the numbers to back this up, that the colorful revitalizations done in collaboration with the students gives students a feeling of ownership of the school. Students involved in these projects are twice as likely as their fellow students to successfully graduate from high school: "94% of Publicolor’s students, 97% of whom are minorities, graduated on time last year. This compared to 58% at their schools."

and after of  Publicolor school painting project
When people like and care about their spaces it not only cuts down on more minor negligences of graffiti and litter, but also gives the students and community members a feeling of civic pride. In this way Publicolor aims to help interrupt the cycle of poverty that plages many of these schools students, their families  and the neighborhoods they live in. 

Publicolor  reminds us of something we all know inherently, the environments we are surrounded by, whether by our own design or by circumstance, change how we think and feel about ourselves, others, and our work.   Environments  can influence how creative, how engaged or rewarded we feel. Color alone cannot give concentration, passion or excitement to the students in these schools, no more than it  can overhaul a poorly operating office or hospital. Color instead is a visual marker of the social reform, acting as a reminder of the communities goals, needs and abilities to come together to create something meaningful. Color encourages and supports us, but ultimately acts as a banner of commitment, past and present, to our places and the people we share them with. 

- Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
- Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio

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