Move over, “Sesame Street”: Brooklyn kids have a new place to learn their ABCs.
Prospect-Lefferts Gardens resident Pierre Francillon is partnering with local artists to adorn his neighborhood with giant, thought-provoking letters.
The “PLG ABC” project aims to encourage literacy and creative thinking in children by giving artists a public canvas — in this case, rolling gates on storefronts — to paint the alphabet throughout the neighborhood.
“I’ve had this idea since I was 10 years old,” Francillon said. “When I would help tutor my friends I would just integrate art intuitively. That’s where this came from.”
So far, a massive “H” is painted on the gate of Hawthorne Hardware near Hawthorne Street, and an “A” is at Flatbush and Parkside avenues. A giant “F” will be painted soon near Fenimore Street and Flatbush Avenue, and a giant “R” will go up near an existing mural of roses. More stores have lined up to join in the colorful project, too.
“I want kids to look up,” Francillon said. “Not all the letters will be on the ground level. I’ve been given access to walls that are as high up as the second and third floors.”
He also hopes that youngsters will ask their parents and friends about the letters and make connections with the streets and objects nearby.
Ultimately Francillon plans to have the whole alphabet done. As more letters go up, he hopes to add layers of meaning to them, too. Once a big “E” has been painted, for example, he plans to return and add “=mc²” as well as formulas related to string theory.
“They won’t know what they’re looking at now, but one day they will and they’ll remember ‘I saw this on that wall,’ ” Francillon said. “Those are connections they’ll never forget.”
Francillon welcomes support from anyone else who would like to donate paint, spray cans or their artistic skills. To get involved, email email@example.com.