About Project L.I.F.T.

Project L.I.F.T. stands for Project Leadership & Investment For Transformation. Our goal is to change the way traditionally under-served students are educated, supported and empowered to realize their full potential.

Since 2011, we have operated as a unique public-private partnership between Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and Charlotte’s philanthropic community. Project L.I.F.T. operates as one of nine learning communities within CMS, impacting West Charlotte High School and eight elementary and middle schools in its feeder pattern.

In addition to CMS support and resources, Project L.I.F.T. has used donor funding to:

  •        Improve and empower teaching talent and leadership
  •        Increase the amount of in-school time and extra opportunities for out-of-school learning
  •        Increase connectivity and access to technology in and out of the classroom
  •        Strengthen each school’s relationship with the community, by engaging parents, partners and neighbors to volunteer and advocate

Our community’s investment has made it possible for Project L.I.F.T. to make significant gains in many key areas: teacher retention, teacher leadership, academic growth, proficiency, and school and student culture. Several of the leading edge concepts pioneered through Project L.I.F.T., such as Opportunity Culture and the L.I.F.T. Academy model, have been replicated throughout CMS. The graduation rate at West Charlotte High School, once an abysmal 51%, has grown to nearly 90%.

Project L.I.F.T. has proven to be one of most innovative movements in public education. Although not every program or initiative has met with complete success, the lessons we have learned provide valuable insights for other urban centers of education across the country.

The L.I.F.T. Effect:
Progress by the numbers

View infographic


We believe Project L.I.F.T. is more than initiative. It’s a rallying cry. A mindset. An action plan to tackle entrenched problems and attitudes and look at solutions from a fresh perspective. Above all, we want our efforts to be bold and sustainable as we continue the fight to give every child the opportunity for an excellent education. If you agree that education has the power to lift and transform, we invite you to join our movement.

The schools we currently impact are as follows:

Allenbrook Elementary
Ashley Park PreK-8 School
Bruns Academy
Druid Hills Academy
Oakdale Elementary School
Ranson IB Middle School
Statesville Road Elementary
Thomasboro Academy
Walter G. Byers School
West Charlotte High School