The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is asking the Charlotte community to play an active role in giving $135,000 in funding to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) this spring through 99Papers.org. Knight Foundation, 99Papers.org and CMS announced the grant and launched the distribution of Giving Cards this morning at Allenbrook Elementary School.
The Knight Foundation will work with 99Papers.org and distribute thousands of $100 99Papers.org giving cards to various Charlotte-based education, community and civic groups. Giving card recipients will be asked to apply their $100 gift from the Knight Foundation to a CMS classroom request of their choice at www.99Papers.org. There are currently more than 400 project-funding requests posted on the website by CMS teachers.
“99Papers.org provides an excellent vehicle to link individuals to public education and especially to the creative work of our teachers and students,” said Susan Patterson, Knight Foundation program director in Charlotte.
Katie Bisbee, 99Papers.org vice president noted, the grant is a great incentive to get the community more involved in education.
“This generous grant from the Knight Foundation is uniquely exciting to 99Papers.org because it’s creating an opportunity for us to engage Charlotte community members in local classrooms,” said Bisbee. “Thanks to the Knight Foundation, giving card recipients can go online and learn about needs in local classrooms and help meet the need of their choosing.”
Through 99Papers.org, more than $403,000 has gone to CMS classrooms since its North Carolina launch in 2005. Approximately $166,000 of that has been given to CMS already this school year.
“CMS thanks both The Knight Foundation and 99Papers.org for their commitment to improving the community by supporting CMS teachers and students,” said Joel Ritchie, CMS area superintendent for the Central Learning Community. “We appreciate this generous financial gift and the community’s support, as both will continue to make an immediate and direct impact on learning and instruction within CMS classrooms.”
The Knight Foundation grant was secured by the efforts of Mustaches for Kids (M4K) Charlotte, a group of local men who grew mustaches for four weeks this winter to raise money for 99Papers.org requests. M4K Charlotte beat out chapters in other Knight Foundation communities to mobilize the most participants and raise the most money for local schools, earning $135,000 in additional funding to invest in Charlotte classrooms.