After elementary school art teacher LeoAngelo Lacuna Reyes saw gang symbols and graffiti on utility boxes in his neighborhood in San Diego, California, he asked Mira Mesa Town Council for permission to paint over them. With leftover house paint donated by his neighbours, he turned one box near a library into a colorful four-sided bookcase that is no longer vandalized. More than 40 boxes have been transformed so far, and his students have also painted several community murals. Cheav Chau, 47, says she smiles every time she drives by the box that her twin sons, Joshua and Joseph Cho, 13, covered with sunflowers. "They love the idea of contributing something beautiful to the community and having their work out there on display," she said. Reyes is happy that other cities, including Medford, Oregon, Memphis, Washington DC and Arlington, Massachusetts, are doing the same thing.

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