Going Above and Beyond

(Left) Paul Cuffee Upper School students work in the rain with art teacher, Mrs. Lee,
at the Street Painting Festival to honor school custodian, Leonardo Cruz.
(Right) Paul Cuffee Middle School students brave the elements to create a tree of life,
filled with helpers to bring hope and aid to those in need.

An eagerly anticipated tradition for Paul Cuffee Middle and Upper School students, the Providence Rotary Street Painting Festival engaged enthusiastic artists in spite of torrential rains this year.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship by Residential Properties broker/manager and long-time Rotarian and Cuffee supporter, Holly Applegate, Upper School students created an impressive portrait of their beloved school custodian, Leonardo Cruz. Their Art Teacher, Mrs. Lee, who supervised their participation commented, “Leo is the heart and soul of our building. He goes above and beyond in his role at our school. Beyond maintaining our building, he lifts our spirits and provides laughter, wisdom and care for students and staff alike. He is a special person and wonderful part of our community. We wanted to honor and recognize him.”

Eight Cuffee Middle School artists also attended the Festival with their Art Teacher, Amy Weigand. The students chose to represent the suffering in our world by creating an image with jagged cliffs and people who are homeless, cold and hungry. From the cliffs is growing a bright, multicolored tree with individuals who are reaching down to help those in need. The tree also has a face, the face of Mother Earth.

While the incessant downpour eliminated the tradition of judging and distributing awards for the best paintings, Paul Cuffee students enjoyed making a difference with their art.


Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%