At M.S. 131, Hester Street worked with middle school students on projects that encourage them to learn about and explore their Chinatown and Lower East Side neighborhoods. Over a thousand students have participated in Ground Up since the program began at the school in 2002. Students have painted murals on their school building representing places in their neighborhood and have built permanent art for their local playground. Every year since 2007, students have created a month-long lantern installation celebrating the Lunar New Year in nearby Sara D. Roosevelt Park, connecting the students to their neighborhood and larger community projects.