"To create the climate and conditions for every child to succeed by providing a sustainable, coordinated system of supports and access"
This is the mission of the Petersburg City and Schools Partnership. It is a coalition of United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, Petersburg City Schools (PBCS), local and state government agencies, service providers and community groups including nonprofit and religious organizations. They have come together to ensure that students arrive to school ready to learn.
There are 5 designated areas of importance that influence a child’s ability to get in school and stay there.
Providing positive systems of social and emotional support so they come to school ready to learn
Improving the access of high-quality health care for the children of Petersburg
Giving students and families the opportunity to engage in out-of-school resources and programs.
Ensuring access for Petersburg families to healthy food year-round
Helping the community identify homeless or at-risk students and stabilizing their families
This young organization has a solid history of HUGE accomplishments with great impact.
Petersburg City Public Schools became a Summer Food Service Program and served over 54,000 meals to students during the summers of 2016 and 2017
500 students accessed the YMCA, library, and public transit at no cost in the 2016 and 2017 summers
3 social workers were hired to address chronic absenteeism and received 133 referrals since January
300 community members and 70 students participated in a summit called “Beyond ACEs: Building Community Resilience” to train Petersburg staff, citizens, and youth on trauma and resiliency
A pilot program has been launched to address high school seniors at risk of being homeless
Pretty great organization, right?
Yeah, we know.
The only problem is that the Partnership has been so busy creating a stable support system for every Petersburg family that they haven’t had time to build a brand to spread their message:
The whole community has an essential role to play in the growth and development of its young people.
Our job was to create a brand for PCSP so everyone involved knows who they are, what they do, and how they do it.
As a team leader, I was expected to drive the creative process with research, discovery, and strategy that defined and refined the project.
I was enrolled in a service learning course that put me in the role of the account manager.
Critical conversations with the client were compacted into the form of a creative brief, which was the springboard for the magic that came after.
Weeks of research, hours of planning and a couple of client meetings all led up to the 24-hour CreateAthon: a pro-bono advertising effort established to benefit nonprofits like the Petersburg City and Schools Partnership. There were sodas and snacks, professional mentors, interesting activities and a super cute dog: everything a team of college-aged creatives needed to succeed.
Meet the Team
Malcolm: Team Leader
- Provided strategy, vision and creative direction
- Promoted positivity and encouragement
- Brought a bag of apples
- Former CreateAthon Team Leader
- Knew exactly what to do
- 5 steps ahead, at least
Bayley: Art Director
- Extremely capable designer
- Logos, branding, mockups
- 57 artboards. Fifty seven.
- Wordsmith-- no, a word wizard
- Much needed comedic relief
- Took copious, creative notes
Peyton and Sue: CEOs, Creative and Strategic Directors
These two wonderful women were the backbone of this entire effort. They taught the class, coordinated countless meetings, helped all of us team leaders with everything from case studies to client emails to cold classrooms.
Once we had our team together, we had a lot of work to do. We started with the Partnership's mission and vision. What do they do? How do they do it? What do they value? How can we communicate their passion and purpose?
We posted paper on all of the walls of our creative dungeon and walked around, writing the words that came to our minds when we thought of health, recreation, nutrition, housing and culture.
We found that the same words kept popping up: support, stability, and success.
We took these ideas and ran, moving from the verbal to the visual, but this transition introduced new problems: what does support look like? Stability?? Success???
Since the organization had no brand to begin with, we had nothing to build on. All we knew was that we needed to keep Petersburg at the center of it all, since the city's schoolchildren are the reason for the season.
We wanted to find a way to show the communal organization and all the components that come together to make it work. What we came up with worked perfectly.