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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Supporting Neighborhood Public Schools

How to get residents of a city to support their local public school? Make it as popular as the neighborhood bar.


Plagued with funding shortfalls, public schools across the country are looking for support from outside their walls. How should we engage local businesses and residents to help keep them strong? As part of GOOD Ideas for Cities Portland, a team from Wieden + Kennedy presented their idea for how to get Portlanders more invested in their local public schools. From a campaign to encourage childless citizens to volunteer or donate to creating desirable hipster-quality merchandise featuring local school mascots, the idea is to raise the level of pride and awareness each Portland resident has for their local school.

Challenge: Local schools must be supported by the community if they are to be successful. How can our neighborhoods, and institutions in them like businesses, work better to support youth, their educational outcomes and opportunities??

The Office of Mayor Sam Adams: Mayor Sam Adams; Cary Clarke, Arts and Culture Policy Director; Lisa Libby, Planning and Sustainability Director; Kali Ladd, Education and Youth Policy Director?; Samir Raad, Youth Strategies Policy Coordinator

Wieden + Kennedy: Nick Barham, Eugenie Frerichs, Bernadette Spear, Justin Morris, Igor Clark, Patrick Nistler, Jamie Ostrov, Joseph Limauro, Matt Brown

To learn more about this idea contact Nick Barham at nick.barham[at]wk[dot]com or @nickfbarham

Video by Paul Searle

GOOD Ideas for Cities pairs creative problem solvers with real urban challenges proposed by civic leaders. To learn more visit

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