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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Developing Local Support for Portland's Public Schools

85% of people in central Portland have no children of school age. A hackathon uncovered ways to help connect those residents to their local school.

When a team from Wieden + Kennedy confronted its challenge to engage the community in public schools for GOOD Ideas for Cities Portland, a surprising statistic came to the forefront: 85% of people in central Portland have no children of school age. With so few residents with a natural link to education, Portland’s public schools are struggling to develop community support.

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Portlanders, Join a Hackathon for Public Schools on June 2

Calling all developers and designers in Portland: Put your skills to good use at this one-day event to help local schools.

GOOD Ideas for Cities hosted an event in Portland, Oregon earlier this year, assigning each of six creative teams to one of six challenges facing the city. One of those challenges came from Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who asked how the city's public schools could be better supported by the local community. A team from Wieden + Kennedy tackled that challenge, presenting several ideas for how to get the 85 percent of Portland's population without school-age children more involved in public education.

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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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4Ozk8l_Nlw

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.

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