The students at Overbrook Elementary School took a non-traditional approach to improving their community for Earth Day.
The students have been working on a community project, funded by a grant from The Picasso Project. The Picasso Project offers grants up to $5,000 to Philadelphia public schools for art education and community advocacy.
Students have been working with volunteers from the Overbrook Arts Center to capture the essence of Overbrook through their eyes.
“We’re calling it photojournalism,” Doris Stahl, volunteer in charge of horticulture and agriculture at Overbrook Arts Center, said. “The children have been taking pictures of things in their community and now they’re working to put together a story behind it.”
Since February, Stahl and fifth-graders from Overbrook Elementary take weekly walks to photograph both the natural and man-made environments that surround them.
“I’m approaching it from the aspect of Asset Based Community Development,” Stahl said. “Instead of saying we’re missing this, we show them what they have and what makes it work.”
The student’s project will culminate with a 60 feet by 60 feet mural inspired by the children’s photographs. The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program will complete the artwork on the side of the Overbrook Arts Center’s warehouse.
Students presented their photos on Earth Day. The images will be submitted to Mural Arts and the final part of the project will be unveiled on June 14.