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Students Win PFP Grants for Varied Projects

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Students Win PFP Grants for Varied Projects
Posted on 03/05/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Students Win PFP Grants for Varied Projects

Painting for a Purpose (PFP) is a group of 10-12 women who meet weekly and paint whimsical wooden items-such as lobsters, birds and fish. They sell these items at local venues and craft festivals to raise about $10,000 a year. All proceeds go into a philanthropy fund for service learning projects led by Portland Public Schools students who want to make a difference. Students receive up to $ 500 to put their ideas into action. Here are some grants given out this school year to great student projects:

PHS Sewing Circle Makes Fleece Hats for the Homeless
Two juniors at Portland High School won a $479.99 PFP grant to pay for sewing machines and fleece material to create a “sewing circle” in which they made warm items for the homeless. Working with Joanne Arnold, a chaplain, homeless advocate, photographer and personal trainer who “ministers” to the homeless community, and Terry Linehan, a teacher at PHS, the students decided they wanted to learn how to sew fleece hats that would be useful in cold weather. In four weeks, the students sewed 50 fleece hats and Arnold distributed the hats to some homeless men on Valentine’s Day. Arnold posted on Facebook: “This morning, at zero degrees, these handmade felt hats, made by two students from Portland High School with a grant from Painting For A Purpose, were a big hit.”

DHS Students Host Ball Highlighting Black Culture
Members of the Black Student Union at Deering High School won a $490.50 PFP grant to help them host a cultural ball highlighting Black culture during Black History Month in February. The Deering Black Students' Union, founded in 2019, seeks to increase the number of Black students participating in non-athletic clubs and producing community events. Deering’s Black Student Union is hoping to embolden Black students to use their voices to participate in the decision-making and creative aspects of event planning. These events will be entirely youth-led and will allow a space of Black students to have creative control and have their concerns, opinions, and suggestions taken seriously. Also, the event for which the union won the PFP grant, the cultural ball, addressed the need to celebrate Black culture and people, especially during Black History Month, which is usually overlooked in schools and by the predominantly white culture. The group hopes that a cultural ball during Black History Month will become a tradition at Deering, one that continues to empower Black students to be at the forefront of leadership at Deering specifically, and in Portland generally.

King Middle School Students Create Chill Zone
As part of a science class project, King Middle School students won a $196 PFP grant to create a “Chill Zone,” a place where students can chill out. Students can use this space when they feel like they have to take a breather during class time. Students created a survey to determine what objects students would like in order to make them feel calm in that space. Most of the students said that in the chill zone they would like to have beanbag chairs, lights, and coloring books as an activity. Painting for a Purpose funded comfortable seating and drawing materials for the area.

King Students’ Audiobook Project Provides Another Reading Option
Students at King Middle School received a $485 PFP grant to purchase audiobooks as an alternate strategy to help students read. They want to encourage all students to read and find the best strategy that works for them. Here’s how the students described their project: “Our goal is to benefit the students by providing them with a new strategy to stay up to speed with the rest of the class…We understand that not everyone moves at the same pace, and audiobooks could provide an alternative strategy so that students don’t fall behind in their studies. We hope to accomplish an increase in the number of audiobooks that are checked out along with the hard copy text. To make this desired change, we would include a display of the new audiobooks along with their hard copy. We believe that this will intrigue the King community and encourage a new group of students who may not be as enthusiastic as others to pick up a book, put on a set of headphones and listen whilst reading.”
The funding for audiobooks will allow students to match the most popular hard copy texts in the King library with audiobooks.

For more information on Painting for a Purpose, go to: http://www.paintingforapurpose.net/

Photos: (Top) Making fleece hats for the homeless. (Below) Displaying PFP grant checks (from left) are the DHS Black Students Union; King Middle School students creating a Chill Zone; and King Middle School students involved in an audiobooks project.
DHS Black Student Union PFP grant King Chill Zone PFP grant 
King Adiobooks PFP grant