At-Risk Teens Brightening Up Their City and Their Futures
A Colorful Summer of College, Community Service and Creativity
NEW YORK, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This summer, 70 at-risk NYC middle and high school students are acquiring math and literacy skills through product design workshops, experiencing the reality of college, and painting an atmosphere of dignity and respect into under-resourced homeless shelters and public schools. The program, Summer Design Studio, is non-profit Publicolor's creative solution to the problem of summer learning loss.
Research shows that without access to a variety of enrichment activities, all students lose roughly two months of grade level equivalency in math and reading skills over the summer. The impact on disadvantaged students is disproportionately greater: they lose essential skills, which deepens the achievement gap.
By tapping into adolescents' creativity, and engaging them in project-based learning, Publicolor's youth development programs provide critical academic support and transferable career skills, and bring vibrant color to dreary, institutional public spaces.
Weekday mornings are spent with Publicolor staff in Pratt Institute's generously donated labs, designing and building new products from scratch, honing geometry, critical thinking and computer-aided design skills, and taking rigorous SAT prep classes. In the afternoons, the teens revitalize community facilities with bright, energizing color. Fridays are reserved for enrichment trips to explore the real-life applications of the skills they're acquiring.
"Summer Design Studio has given me a meaningful way to express myself - through design! Publicolor has changed my life." Justin Edwards, age 16
Students will showcase and celebrate their design work at a gallery show on August 16th at Pratt Institute from 10:00 AM-12:30 PM.
Publicolor's mission is to counter our alarming high school dropout rate by engaging high-risk students, ages 12-21, in their education through a continuum of design-based programs and academic support. By empowering students to reach their full potential in college and career, Publicolor combats the under-education and lack of job preparedness that fuel poverty. What makes Publicolor unique—and central to their mission—is the beautification and revitalization of public and civic spaces through the power of color and design, the affordable medium of paint, and collaborations that engage students and the community as a whole. Publicolor students have brought energy, inspiration, and life to hundreds of struggling schools and community facilities, benefiting over 350,000 low-income New Yorkers, and they are graduating from high school and being accepted into college in record numbers.
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