HARLEM, Manhattan — Normally when a basketball player is “in the paint,” it means they’re posted up under the basket and ready to score. But on Monday, Brooklyn Nets player James Harden took to a school playground in Harlem with actual paint in hand.
Harden was there to support Publicolor, a group that helps transform the lives of middle and high school students in New York City.
“Every day isn’t perfect, we are human. Keep pushing and fighting and stay focused on school. Good things will happen,” Harden told a group of students at PS 149.
Publicolor is a not-for-profit organization that engages high-risk, low-income middle and high school students. The organization promotes academic achievement, college preparation, job readiness and community service through educational programs.
At this event, they were painting the walls of the playground. Other projects include painting murals and participating in after-school programs. For 25 years, the organization has worked to transform places and the lives of students, founder Ruth Lande Shuman said.
“[We] engage kids who are disaffected, low-income [and] high-risk,” she said. “We get them into school and on to college.”