June 10, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
The graffiti-covered wall across the street from the Corona Arts and Sciences Academy is undergoing a colorful transformation.
Publicolor, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk youth through design-based programs, has partnered with Council Member Francisco Moya and the 110th Precinct to beautify a 3-block section of the Long Island Rail Road wall along 44th Avenue in Corona.
The Publicolor Paint Club works with students and volunteers to beautify schools and public space through color.
Students and volunteers with the club and the Corona Arts and Sciences Academy, located at 98-11 44th Ave., have started painting the wall with vivid green stripes to liven up the area.
The student volunteers are slated to work on the wall every Saturday from June 2 to June 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They primed the wall with gray paint the first weekend and began to add color this past Saturday.
“The colors on this project provide warmth and energy,” Irma Nepomunceno, a Publicolor Program Leader said in a statement. “The kids who are handling this project will gain a sense of excitement and achievement seeing the whole community enjoying the work.”
The 110th Precinct initiated the project by reaching out to Publicolor and asking the organization to recruit students from Corona to help.
“It’s great to have the kids out here doing this, the wall has become graffiti-ed and ugly,” said Officer Joseph Speciale of the 110 Precinct in a statement. “To have all the kids out here working together will have a big impact on the community.”
Publicolor was created in 1996 by founder Ruth Lande Shuman and has since done paint work at 230 schools and 227 community sites.
The organization runs several design-based programs. It works with high-risk students three times a week and offers mentoring, tutoring, and college prep, as well as scholarship opportunities upon completion of high school.
Publicolor says 96 percent of its participants graduated high school on time versus 64 percent of their peers who did not participate in the program.
Funding for the project was provided through Council Member Moya’s office through the Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) grant.