Above: Miami students receive free laptops through the One Laptop Per Child program
Today, Knight Foundation announced it is joining Charlotte’s philanthropic leaders in supporting Project L.I.F.T, a five-year, $55 million initiative to improve student achievement in West Charlotte schools.
Knight is not an education funder, so why would we invest in this effort? We do care about access to technology and engagement, however, and the two grants, totaling just over $4 million, support our interest in “informed and engaged communities.”
One grant will put laptops designed for children into the hands of all kindergarten-through-fifth grade students in seven LIFT schools – that’s about 3,200 laptops.
These One-Laptop-Per-Child laptops will come loaded with a child-oriented Wikipedia, books and other learning tools that the teachers will decide upon. Internet access in West Charlotte is only about 20 to 40 percent of the community, and it’s something parents asked for. We hope these laptops and training will provide our students with the digital skills needed for 21st century life.