Mural project helps local students take pride in themselves, their community

Justin Udo
April 20, 2019 - 4:00 am

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A unique program that teaches life skills through painting brings a Philadelphia specialty off the walls and to the people.

The Mount Airy After School Community Art Project teaches tiny Philadelphians, like Gianna, how to create large works of art like murals.

“I worked on drawing some stuff for it, and I'm painting the mural,” she said.

Ruth Joray and Arleen Olshan help run the program.

They say the work the kids are doing on the murals, which will  go up around the Mt. Airy neighborhood, does more than just teach them how to paint.

“They're learning skills,” Joray said. “They are learning to work together.”

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

“They learn to feel pride in the work that they are doing,” Olshan added. “We want to encourage respect for each other, and respect for one's self, and one’s abilities and one's building abilities.”

Those messages are things Gianna says inspires her as she diligently works on a mural that depicts a diverse group of people enjoying a picnic together.

“It felt really great,” she said. “It's just brilliant.”

The program, which takes place at the Mount Airy Recreation Center every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, is open to children between the ages 9 to 14-years-old.