Students Paint the Town
at Frick Impact Academy
by Anita Brown, Program Officer
"At Frick Impact Academy, we live by the principles of being safe, responsible, and respectful. It's how we walk in the halls, hold space in classrooms, and how we interact with each other at our school. It is also how we expect our students to live outside our walls. It's how we feel our staff and families should live, and it is how our community should live. What better to communicate that than to paint on a key intersection where we often see cars speeding through: 'BE SAFE. BE RESPONSIBLE. BE RESPECTFUL.' in both English and Spanish, as a visual reminder to our entire community how we should and can be in community together."
-Jaymie Lollie, Community School Manager, Frick Impact Academy
photo by Peter Olson
At the beginning of the school year, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation awarded a Visiting Artist grant to Frick Impact Academy for an artist from Attitudinal Healing Connection, Inc. to help with the school's Paint the Town project, finalize a mural design, scale it to size, and provide hands-on mural prep and painting instruction for students.
Paint the Town is a program administered by Oakland's Department of Transportation, meant to bring neighborhoods together in creating street murals to strengthen community and potentially even slow traffic. "A street mural designed and painted by community members brings people together and adds life and surprise to our streets."
"Despite the educational and violence challenges, Frick has a vibrant and talented student body focused on success. Our students are our heartbeat daily. We have seen how art has truly led to students finding, deepening, and refining their voice."
Lily Brown, an Oakland transportation planner overseeing the Paint the Town program, said, "It's the first step in re-imagining what our streets are and can be. It's not just a place for cars to speed through, not just a place where it all looks the same." In total, thirty Paint the Town murals were selected and approved; six are being finished in East Oakland, and fifteen are in process in West and North Oakland.
On September 28-29, 2018, a group of 6th-8th grade students from Frick Impact Academy participated in their own Paint the Town project, from pressure washing and priming the surface to outlining the artwork with chalk to painting the mural. This "BE SAFE. BE RESPONSIBLE. BE RESPECTFUL." mural was inspired by an event from a prior year, when a student was hit by a car and killed, a block east from the intersection where the mural is located.
"Despite the educational and violence challenges, Frick has a vibrant and talented student body focused on success. Our students are our heartbeat daily. We have seen how art has truly led to students finding, deepening, and refining their voice," Jaymie Lollie, Community School Manager at Frick Impact Academy, wrote. She reported that the whole activity was healing for her students and that "the project went so well and we honestly couldn't have done it without the visiting artist." (Read more here.)
PVF's Visiting Artist in the Classroom grant program is made possible with funding by the Geballe Family. K-12th grade teachers in Alameda, San Mateo, and San Francisco counties can apply today for a $500 grant to bring an artist or art historian to the classroom to complement their lessons!
Lasting Memories and Learning Experiences
with Environmental Science
"You have made a difference in the lives of my students. Thank you for making this trip possible. It was an unforgettable trip with lasting memories and learning experiences." -Kristen Nevarez, 4th/5th Grade Teacher, Burbank Elementary School
In the last school year, PVF introduced a new teacher grant program: the Environmental Science Resource Grant, made possible with funding from the Lampert Byrd Foundation. Through this program, grants of up to $500 are awarded to teachers to enhance classroom environmental science curriculum.
Kristen Nevarez and Elia Bustamente, two teachers at Burbank Elementary School in Hayward, each received an Environmental Science Resource Grant during the 2017-2018 school year, and they used the funds to take their students to Vida Verde in San Gregorio to learn about conservation, recycling, and environmental awareness.
"Vida Verde is an organization whose mission is to bring education outdoors, particularly for students of lower socioeconomic backgrounds. They fundraise money and receive donations so that our students can attend their education rich camping experience at no cost to the school or to the students," explained Elia. However, the teachers were left to fundraise for food and transportation costs, and our Environmental Science Resource Grants covered the cost of one bus for the group to get to San Gregorio.
About the Editors
James Higa
James Higa, Executive Director, brings 28 years of executive experience from Silicon Valley, working with Steve Jobs to change the face of technology. He was at the birth of the personal computer revolution as a member of the original Macintosh team and was deeply involved in the creation of many products and services at Apple over 3 decades. He has a long history of public service as a board member of Stanford's Haas Center and in grassroots relief efforts.
Bill Somerville, Founder, has been in non-profit and philanthropic work for over 50 years. He was the director of a community foundation for 17 years, and in 1991, he founded Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. Bill has consulted at over 400 community foundations, on creative grantmaking and foundation operations. Bill is the author of  Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker
About PVF
PVF is a demonstration foundation practicing unique forms of grantmaking and innovative philanthropy. Our primary interest is in the creative and significant use of the philanthropic dollar.
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