The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB) is an artist-run, renovated recreational vehicle that exists as a flexible space open to community members’ proposals for alternative educational and cultural programming.

MLAB is the collaborative effort of the 2007-2008 Social Sculpture class at Syracuse University, comprised of 10 art and architecture students and lead by artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts of Syracuse University, Marion Wilson. Our mission was to transform a used, 1984 Recreational Vehicle Bus into a Mobile Literacy and Arts Bus for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community. MLAB serves as a physical manifestation of Syracuse University’s Scholarship in Action initiative, by pairing University resources with community needs in an attempt to address the staggering drop out rates in the Syracuse City School District High Schools. Through the School of Education at Syracuse University, incredible curricula that bridge photography, poetry and literacy currently exist within the public schools-- however due to a crisis of space, the schools don't always have the space or resources to house it. MLAB is this space. The bus serves as a mobile classroom, digital photo lab, gallery space, and community center. As a team, we did it all: demolition, design, and construction.

MLAB is made possible from the generous support of the School of Education at Syracuse University and Entitiative.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Porter Academy

We worked with the Porter News Media/TV Class to write their own news stories of an upcoming event at the school. Please enjoy reading their creative news stories!

Porter Concert Kids will be playing instruments in the Auditorium. It will be on February 21-2011. My grandma will be coming and my mom and dad will be coming. I will be watching my friends at the play names Michelle, and Destiny. Michelle will be playing the viola. Finally, Destiny will be playing violins. Last but not lease Mr. Rogers will be constructing them.

By Tatiana Gaines

Did you know there’s going to be a concert February fourth, 2011? There will be lots of people. Teachers, students, and guests. The constructer is Mr. Crouse. Lots of instruments will be playing some are violins, trumpets, tubas, flutes and drums. Some guests will be students, parents, grand parents, friends, and teachers. There’s students playing instruments and singing. There’s special outfits and clothing. Some songs their going to play are Winter Time, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. They will sing People of the World. I’ll like so will you! Come to Porter School and see the amazing concert. You won’t want to miss it. See you there

By Izzy C

Porter Pandas auditorium instruments by people. Singers. February 21, 2011.

By Brittney Tallman

Talent Show

The talent show is in our class room. I will sing or dance. And this is true. And only Porter Pandas. Also students and teachers.

By Zachary Towndrow


I play viola. It takes place in the auditorium. It will be February 21. My moms are coming to it. First there will be chorus then there will be violas and violin. We will be playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

By Michelle Butler

On Friday, February 4th Porter School is having a concert and orchestra. Students are playing. Parents and invited. There will be violins and playing, violas are playing. There will be chorus are going to perform and bass will perform.

By Jacob LaPlant

Porter School band and orchestra. Date 2-4-11. Who=students parents guardians, bffs, supporting every person that goes to the school. Then we listen to people play their instruments. They will be playing string instruments. The end

By Alexia

Porter School

Date Friday 2-4-11. Band and orchestra and singing. Students will be playing at Porter School. People who are coming are parents, guardians, aunts, uncles and cousins. It will be in the Auditorium.

By Jisela Turner

At Porter School there is a concert. It’s on 2-21-11. It’s for the people who play an instrument. It’s in the auditorium. People will be in the auditorium.

By Destiny Gallipau

Porter auditorium instrument band. People is where the show is. And they singers they all can’t. They are all excited and they all left and they all go home and they do their homework. The end they go to again.

By Cory Lane

Dr. Weeks Elementry

We worked with the students in the Dr. Weeks break dancing class to create a collaborative story. Every student added to the story and plot development. By the end of the first day, we had this written. Each student then came up with their own ending. Please enjoy the adventures of Eric Carl and Arrowhead as they try to save Scooby-Doo from the magical playground!

Scooby-Doo woke up one day and decided to set out to find the best playground ever! He got dressed, had breakfast, and head out on his adventure for the day. He starts walking, not knowing how long it is going to take him to find the most wonderful playground ever. Sure enough he did not have to go far because right around the corner was a huge playground. Scooby-Doo was so excited he could not keep himself from walking, and ended up running full speed to the playground! When he got there it was better than he imagined! There were TVs, swings, video games, money bars, bridges connecting all the parts of the playground, and slides. As Scooby got closer to the playground he realized the swings were whispering to each other, which is not normal for swings, so Scooby went up close to the swings to investigate. As he got closer the swings said hello. There was no doubt in Scooby’s mind that this was the best playground ever! As he explores more, he talks to the slides, compliments the wood chips, and greets the bridges. Scooby is climbing around on the monkey bard, and up onto the bridge when suddenly he is trapped! He cries for help. Who better to have save him than Eric Carl, Arrowhead, and his magical flying bison?

A few towns over Arrowhead sees on his computer screen that someone is in grave danger at the Dr. Weeks playground. This means only one thing—he must get Eric Carl and his flying bison to save this person! Unfortunately for Arrowhead, Eric Carl has taken his balloon up to the moon to save the moon people from the Brianna, the biggest evil witch ever with warts all over her nose. “This will not do,” Arrowhead says. He hops on his flying bison and they head to the moon. Just as they arrive to the moon they see Eric Carl in battle with the witch. Arrowhead jumps off the bison to join in the battle with his stick. But, the stick is not good enough to defeat the witch and she puts a spell on Arrowhead, which turns him into a bullfrog. Arrowhead starts jumping on Brianna trying to distract her from attacking Eric Carl so he can get back to his balloon. The spell wore off because the moon weakens spells and Arrowhead ended up squishing the witch. Arrowhead and Eric Carl don’t have time to inflate the balloon, or fly the bison, so they jump back to earth because it is much faster.

As they are falling to earth, Arrowhead explains how someone is trapped on the Dr. Weeks playground. They both agree they need help to save this person because they are not sure they have all the powers to save him. They land ever so gently in the Sahara Desert where they find two groups of animals arguing. Perfect! They needed friends to help them, so why not ask these animals? As they approach the group, they hear what they are arguing about, “Stripes are much better than spots, Donkey Kong!” “No, Zookie, spots are way better!” “You’re crazy, Donkey Kong! Stripes all the way!” “What are you talking about? Spots all the way, Apple!” Arrowhead and Eric Carl see they need to intervene so they step in to break up the argument and ask if they want to help save the person on the playground. But they can’t get their attention, to Eric Carl throws a love bomb between them, which separates the zebras and giraffes. Apple, Zookie, Donkey Kong, and Marsallow all stop to see what they have to say…

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MLAB: schools visited...

So far MLAB has traveled to six Syracuse City Schools :
media including videos, audio recordings & photos coming soon!

   • Seymour dual language academy (African Drumming)

   • Dr. Weeks Elementary (African/Break Dance)

   • Porter Elementary school (Media/TV class)

     We worked with Ms. Jones Media/Tv class to write, record & film News stories...

   • McKinley-Brighton Magnet School (African Drumming/Yearbook)

   • Webster Elementary School (Magazine)

   • Frazer Elementary  (Media Class)