Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Preparing Charlotte students to compete as 21st century learners

Nov. 5, 2012, 10:05 a.m., Posted by David Jessup, Jr. and Monique Pollock


Knight recently announced its support for Project L.I.F.T, a five-year, $55 million initiative to improve student achievement in West Charlotte schools. Part of our support will ensure laptops will be provided for of all Kindergarten-through-fifth grade students in seven L.I.F.T schools. Below, David Jessup, Jr. and Monique Pollock of One Laptop per Child write about a recent event.

On the evening of Oct. 25, nearly 400 students, parents and community members got a first look at the XO laptops that will be distributed to first through fourth grades students attending Project L.I.F.T.  zone schools later in the 2012-13 school-year. 

The distribution of the laptops is a part of the One Laptop per Child program, which will provide nearly 2,500 elementary students with their very own personal connected laptop. The program is funded by Knight Foundation to increase digital access to Project L.I.F.T. families

During the event, students, parents and community members had an opportunity to experience the “XO Lounge,” a fun atmosphere that featured laptop tutorials, an informal Q&A session, music and promotional giveaways.

Communities use Knight-funded technologies to recover from disaster

Nov. 2, 2012, 12:57 p.m., Posted by Marc Fest


Photo Credit: Flickr user ccho

Within hours of Sandy hitting the Northeast this week, the team at was on the ground, helping communities organize their response through its new web and mobile platform.

To date, four communities in New York  - including hard hit Staten Island - are using the 2012 Knight News Challenge winner’s platform to coordinate everything from food donations for the mentally ill to volunteer translators for those left isolated in Chinatown.

Public Stuff, supported through Knight's Enterprise Fund, is also providing community residents with tools to report and document damage. Its app can help residents report non-emergency requests.

Though Knight Foundation’s mission does not focus on disaster relief, its goal of promoting informed and engaged communities inevitably involves supporting technologies that people use to make their communities more resilient. Through both the News Challenge and Tech For Engagement initiatives, Knight has funded several disaster-related projects that tap the power of communities to help themselves.

For instance:

  • Ushahidi provides an online platform to organize and display citizen reports from large news events, including natural disasters (it was used, for example, to map relief in post-quake Haiti.)
  • Safecast, which became a leading source of radiation information in Japan, is a network of sensor devices to collect crowd-based submissions of data about the environment.
  • SocialCoding4Good aims to increase awareness of software-supported volunteerism by matching humanitarian organizations that work on issues like disaster relief.
  • Knight supported the development and implementation of a social game, called “Battlestorm”, to increase awareness and change habits in Biloxi towards disaster preparedness in an entertaining and informative way.

New series celebrates Miami as an international center of art

Nov. 2, 2012, 8:17 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Artist-to-Artist: Conversations at MOCA from MOCA North Miami on Vimeo.

While headlines focus on Art Basel Miami Beach each December, a new mini-series will feature the local artists who have steadily built the region’s reputation as an international art center.

Debuting Sunday in South Florida, the Artist-to-Artist series will feature artists like Daniel Arsham, whose sculptures and conceptual objects have been exhibited across Miami and were the reason he was selected as a set designer for famed choreographer Merce Cunningham.  Naomi Fisher, co-founder of an alternative art space in Miami, Bas Fisher Invitational also will be featured.

Supported by Knight, the Artist-to-Artist series is a collaboration of the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami and WPBT-PBS2. It will highlight artists each Sunday in November, starting this Sunday.

The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami’s Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater, who hosts the series, says the goal is to share insights on not only what it is like for artists to make and experience art, but also how their careers have impacted the art scene locally and across the rest of the world.

Clearwater tells the Miami New Times: