Paint Club is an afterschool youth development program that engages students in transforming their own school, turning a cold, institutional environment into a warm, welcoming safe space. Students learn strong, transferrable work skills through commercial painting, while building confidence and self-esteem during and after their school’s transformation. Students paint bright, inviting colors onto the walls of their school that are proven to increase productivity, attendance and retention. Paint Club, which runs after school Tuesday through Friday and all day Saturday, teaches students creative problem-solving, leadership and teamwork skills, and gives them a sense of pride and ownership in their environment. Paint Club brings students, teachers, school faculty and volunteers together in a community service-based transformation process with a lasting impact on the environment.


  • Middle and high schools are selected to be painted based on certain criteria, including attendance rates, graduation rates, percentage of low-income students and physical environment.
  • Paint Club recruits up to 100 students, with a focus on the most at-risk students as identified by teachers and administration.
  • Each Paint Club site runs five days a week for 10-12 weeks.
  • Each school designates 14,000 square feet of public space to be painted each semester.
  • 50 healthy snacks and meals are served to Paint Club students each semester.
  • All students and teachers vote on their school’s new colors, which empowers them to take ownership and pride in their space.
  • 62% of students attend Paint Club multiple times throughout the semester.
  • An average of 20 teachers and parents paint alongside the students each semester.
  • 20 students from Paint Club are inducted into the paid apprenticeship program each semester, resulting in a 4-6 year involvement that helps them prepare for college and career.
  • An average of 40 struggling middle and high schools are on the waiting list to be a Publicolored space.
  • An average of 120 volunteers per school paint alongside Paint Club students, informally mentoring them about college and career.