LIFT in the News

Since its inception in 2011, Project L.I.F.T. has been in the spotlight.
Here are some of our major media highlights.


Charlotte Agenda – Project L.I.F.T is entering its fifth year of their reform initiative by Tyler Greene | July 26, 2016
In 2013, Project L.I.F.T created tiers of leadership and compensation for teachers to advance their profession through a program called Opportunity Culture. They were the first in the nation to do this, by the way. This year, they have expanded Opportunity Culture to all nine schools…

Time Warner Cable News – CMS Project L.I.F.T. Students Go Back to School by Vanessa Leon | July 25, 2016
After just a few weeks off for summer break, students at four Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools went back to classes on Monday.

WBTV – Thomasboro Students Welcomed Back with Big Surprise by Mark Davenport  | July 25, 2016
Prominent Charlotte businessmen and CMPD officers teamed up to cheer on the elementary schoolers as they arrived at the carpool line.

The Charlotte Observer – This young teacher stayed with CMS. But it has never been easy. by Ann Doss Helms  | June 22, 2016
Carly Deal and Kelsey LaBar have a lot in common. Both followed their mothers into the teaching profession. Both came fresh out of college to teach second grade in a high-poverty Charlotte-Mecklenburg school. And both felt battered by their first year.

The Charlotte Observer – Charlotte student’s journey from jungles of Vietnam to prestigious Gates scholarship by Mark Price  | June 13, 2016
When 18-year-old Guin Thi graduated from West Charlotte High Saturday, she showed just how successful an immigrant child can be, despite coming from a home where English is rarely spoken.

Time Warner Cable News – CMS Student Graduates From West Charlotte High After Spending Years Homeless by Litsa Pappas  | June 9, 2016  Tra’Quan Cunningham is graduating from West Charlotte High this week and heading off the college, all after being in and out of homes growing up.

Q City Metro – On ‘Decision Day,’ West Charlotte High celebrates its achievers by Glenn Burkins  | May 27, 2016
Graduating seniors at West Charlotte High have received more than $4.5 million in college scholarships and this fall will head off to 36 colleges and three branches of the U.S. military.

The Charlotte Observer – Walter G. Byers Elementary’s Jordan Todd is CMS Teacher of the Year by Karen Sullivan  | May 4, 2016
Fifteen-year-old Sabrina Brown doesn’t always believe it when teachers tell her she’s beautiful, unique, intelligent, talented and can be anything she wants. There’s a difference when she hears those same words from her mentor, Jordan Todd, a second-grade teacher at Walter G. Byers School.

The Charlotte Observer – West Charlotte High explores history, pride and segregation by Ann Doss Helms  | March 22, 2016
At a high school that’s 85 percent African-American, it’s a given that you celebrate Black History Month in a big way.

The Charlotte Observer – Donors approve a sixth year for Project LIFT’s turnaround quest by Ann Doss Helms  | March 19, 2016
The corporate philanthropists who pledged almost $50 million for Project LIFT, a five-year school turnaround project, have agreed to extend the effort another year.

WFAE – Strategy of CMS’ Project L.I.F.T. Turned on Head by Lisa Worf  | Jan. 15, 2016
Project LIFT leaders heard a lot of numbers Wednesday about the nine, struggling CMS schools in west Charlotte they’re trying to improve.

Time Warner Cable News – Project L.I.F.T.’s Third Year Results ‘a Mixed Bag’ for Student Progress by Litsa Pappas  | Jan. 13, 2016
The Project LIFT board met with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board Wednesday to go over the results of the third of five years for the public-private partnership. One major concern the board found was keeping students in Project LIFT.

The Charlotte Observer – Dream of equity makes for heavy lift by Eric Frazier  | Jan. 17, 2016
They call education the civil rights issue of our time. If that’s true, let’s pause on this holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and consider Charlotte’s groundbreaking $55 million Project LIFT experiment.


WFAE – Project LIFT Schools Embrace New Teaching Method: No Nonsense Nurturing by Lisa Worf  |  Nov. 12, 2015
Teachers are learning a new way to teach students in the nine Project LIFT schools in CMS. Directions are often scripted and praise is kept to a minimum in an effort to manage classroom behavior. It’s called No Nonsense Nurturing. 

Time Warner Cable – More than Half Million NC Children Live in Poverty by Litsa Pappas  |  Aug. 31, 2015
Mecklenburg County is one of the toughest areas in the country for children to escape poverty, according to a Harvard University study released this year. It’s a growing problem the Charlotte community is trying to tackle, starting with schools.

The Charlotte Observer – LIFT Academy lowering city’s dropout rates and social costs by Eric Frazier  |  June 8, 2015
With limited economic mobility a major concern for Charlotte’s leaders, it appears some of the best work being done to combat the problem is going on at LIFT Academy, a small satellite campus for West Charlotte High.

The Charlotte Observer – LIFT Academy helped graduate get back on track by Andrew Dunn  |  June 7, 2015
It didn’t take long after he enrolled at West Charlotte High for the trouble to begin. Antonio Wilson’s new group of friends liked to leave campus and skip class – so he did, too. But a surprise visit to his house helped to turn things around.

WCCB Rising – Project LIFT and Opportunity Culture – Opportunities for Teachers  |  March 9, 2015
Denise Watts, superintendent of Project L.I.F.T., sits down with Terrance Bates to discuss their new program, Opportunity Culture, and how teachers can apply.

See more early media coverage of Project L.I.F.T.