Thursday, February 21, 2013

It was a little more than two years ago that plans for the ambitious Project L.I.F.T. philanthropic education initiative were announced to help improve some of Charlotte's lowest-performing schools. Several of the city's largest corporations and charitable foundations--Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Duke Energy, and the C.D. Spangler and the Leon Levine foundations, among others--came together to give $40.5 million to launch the program; then several other community organizations and philanthropists stepped up during the next year and a half to help the group reach its $55 million fundraising goal. Now, with Project L.I.F.T. having been officially implemented in a five-year plan with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, we're seeing many of the efforts start to come to fruition.

You can witness one of those efforts in a fun and creative way this Saturday, February 23 during the first-ever “Lifting Our Black History” Brain Bowl at West Charlotte High School. At the crux of Project L.I.F.T. is West Charlotte High and the elementary and middle schools that feed into it. The six middle schools are competing in Saturday's Brain Bowl, and the teams have been preparing for it all month with IB students from West Charlotte tutoring them.

There will be three rounds in the bowl, consisting of true false, multiple choice, Family Feud-format, and single-elimination questions. The questions have been written by the staff at Beatties Ford Road Public Library and are derived from the book African American Firsts: Famous Little-Known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks in America, by Joan Potter. Students received copies of this book last semester, thanks to a donation by Johnson C. Smith University. The Brain Bowl is designed by Charlotte City Councilman James “Smudgy” Mitchell, his wife and former astronaut Joan Higginbotham, and West Charlotte IB students. The event will be moderated by Mayor Anthony Foxx, Congressman Mel Watt, Councilwoman Lawana Mayfield, Councilman David Howard, and Former Mayor Harvey Gantt. This event alone embodies how much of a community effort Project L.I.F.T. is.

Parents and the community are invited to attend the “Lifting Our Black History” Brain Bowl, this Saturday, 9 a.m. at West Charlotte High School, 2219 Senior Drive, and support their favorite middle school. The school with the most school spirit will receive an award along with the first and second-place winners in the competition.

The Brain Bowl is just one of several innovative ways Project L.I.F.T. organizers are attempting to achieve 90 percent proficiency, 90 percent on grade level, and 90 percent graduation goals with its more than 7,000 students. CMS recently signed off on a plan that will allow four Project L.I.F.T. schools--Bruns Academy, Walter G. Byers School, Druid Hills Academy, and Thomasboro Academy--to begin a year-round school calendar beginning next school year. Project L.I.F.T. is also engaging in the One Laptop Per Child program and Microsoft's Shape the Future program, to provide computers and Internet access to students and families at a significantly reduced cost. 

Read more about Project L.I.F.T. and find out how you can support this great initiative, by visiting

1 comment :

  1. I am very glad to read about this LIFT project. This is really appreciative and impressive. Thank you so much for posting such interesting and informative post here. Big thumbs up for your great work. traumatic brain injury


Related Posts with Thumbnails