I joined two dozen Bloomberg colleagues who volunteered to paint a school last weekend. The bonus: meeting the woman who founded the charity.

Ruth Lande Shuman founded Publicolor in 1996 based on an idea that kids would be more motivated if they weren’t studying in dreary “prison-like” spaces.

Her genius was to create an organization that does more than brighten schools with a fresh coat of paint. She enlists kids to join the organization, which provides them a skill, community and mentoring and homework help.

Bloomberg has long been involved with Publicolor. Ruth said the company sent a group to paint her first school in East Harlem 25 years ago. She was told Mike was going to come. She expected him to make an appearance and leave.

But he was among the first to arrive and last to leave. Ruth said that “was an early lesson in leadership.”

She clearly took it to heart, showing up herself at this weekend’s event.

It’s a great charity that I would encourage you to check out and support.