banner painting jordan high school takepart video screenshot

Students at a severely under-performing public high school got a huge morale boost to start the year when they walked into a tsunami of color decorating the once-gray courtyard.

volunteer painting jordan high school takepart video screenshotThe outdoor cafeteria and recreation area at Jordan High School in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles had always been a drab landscape until a group of volunteers converted it into a beautiful plant-lined cafe, buoyed by positive messages in bold splashes of color.

“So much good work is being done inside the building, but when the students come out to eat, the cafeteria literally looked like a prison ground,” said Griffin Matthews, the project’s leader.

two boys jordan high school takepart video screenshot
Photo credits: TakePart video

The school has been talking with the Green Dot initiative, which converts low-achieving public schools into charter schools. Principal Ronnie Cole hopes that the makeover will help keep momentum going.

“A transformation like this takes time, and we need visible signs that change is happening,” she said.

When the kids arrived at school on a Monday in late August, they were definitely surprised and delighted.

“Now, we look like a bright school with bright people,” said one student in a red feathered boa.painted-Mexican-town-GermenCrew-Facebook

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“They couldn’t believe that there would be outsiders who would come in and care about their school and what they’re doing,” said Flora Gomez, a parent coordinator.

(WATCH the video below from TakePart)

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