Pooh trying to brighten neighbors

October 14, 2008 8:17:49 AM PDT
Characters from the beloved story of Winnie the Pooh are brightening one of the many vacant homes in the struggling industrial city of Flint.

Twenty-year-old Kristina Pringle has a sketch pad full of cartoon characters. Since August, she's been applying her hobby to beautifying an unoccupied house near her own home, painting Winnie's friends on the boarded-up windows.

"I'd like to make my street better, for sure," Pringle said. "And drawing is something I like to do."

She was recruited by Art Wenzlaff, community relations director of the nearby International Academy of Flint charter school.

Hoping to beautify the neighborhood, he used donations and grant money to supply Pringle and other volunteers with art supplies. City officials gave their blessing to the project.

"It seems to bring some vibrancy to the community," Wenzlaff said.