Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Now, for a little bit of good news involving the NFL. A press conference was held this morning at West Charlotte High School to announce that the school will receive a new synthetic turf football field, as the result of a $200,000 grant from the Carolina Panthers through the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program. The program has helped build or renovate 290 football fields in underserved neighborhoods around the country since 1998.

This is just the latest form of community, corporate, and financial support West Charlotte High has received as numerous efforts are underway to help turnaround this once-reputable school that saw its academics and student population's well-being plummet in recent years. Project L.I.F.T. (Leadership and Investment For Transformation ) has led or coordinated many of these efforts at the high school as well as its eight feeder schools (elementary and middle), all located in Charlotte's westside.

Photos by Jarvis Holliday

There was a lot of positive energy at the press conference this morning. Of course there were officials representing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the Panthers, and sponsors, including CMS' Superintendent Heath Morrison and Duke Energy Foundation president Richard "Stick" Williams, but what thrilled me the most was to see the involvement of students in the ceremony. This, after all, is who the initiative will positively impact the most, and it gives them another reason to be proud of their school and to believe that the community cares. Members of the West Charlotte High marching band played, the cheerleaders cheered, and several of the football players were there. There was also a group of student journalists conducting interviews.

West Charlotte student journalists. 

Sir Purr is excited (as always).

The refurbished football field will not only be used by the high school students but by recreational programs from the community as well.


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