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Photo courtesy of Donovan Richards
Photo courtesy of Donovan Richards
Students enrolled in Publicolor gave the community room at Laurelton Library a fresh coat of yellow paint.

A fresh coat of yellow paint transformed the Laurelton library‘s community room, which was unveiled on July 10.

The project was completed by students enrolled in Publicolor, a nonprofit organization that uses design-based programs to help at-risk students prepare for college and careers.

Councilman Donovan Richards allocated $5,000 in his budget for the program, which couples college and career prep with community service. Students receive stipends for volunteering their time to paint community spaces like schools and libraries.

“Publicolor helps to lift up our youth in the city and allows them to learn new skills and find potential career paths they may have never been aware of, which is why I funded their organization again in this year’s budget,” Richards said. “Their contribution to the Laurelton library, which is one of the most frequently used libraries in Queens, has made the teen space a more welcoming and uplifting environment for our residents who take advantage of the great programs Queens Library has to offer.”

The community room at Laurelton library hosts different programs including Summer Meals, where children are provided with free lunches; English Literature at Laurelton for third- through eighth-graders; quilting and math clubs; and the Laurelton Homeowners Club, where homeowners gather to share ideas how to make Laurelton a better community.

David Wang, the manager of Laurelton library, said the community room is essential to library patrons and after several Saturdays of work, people were happy to see it completed.

“Our program room is used for all kinds of programs: cultural, educational and recreational ones,” Wang said. “Participants of programs were thrilled seeing the new face of the newly painted multipurpose room. You can tell that the multipurpose room is very important for Laurelton Library and the community it serves. It greatly enhanced the outlook of the library.”

Students enrolled in Publicolor are usually at risk of dropping out but 100 percent of the participants stay in school with 97 percent graduating on time and 94 percent going to college, according to Ruth Lande Shuman, president and founder of the organization.

“We were delighted to transform the community room at the Laurelton library and look forward to continuing our partnership with Councilman Richards to transform more spaces in the 31st district,” Lande Shuman said. “Through our long-term commitment and our continuum of programs, our students are realizing their potential, which is abundant.”

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