Archive for January, 2010

Site launch: KIPP NYC is preparing students for success

kippnyc_screenshot_thumbFor fifteen years, KIPP NYC, a non-profit network of public charter schools in New York City, has disproven the ordinary about urban schools in the United States. Their goal has been to “graduate students with the strength of character and academic abilities needed to succeed in life.” They have 1,300 students and 700 alumni, with 80% of them from low-income families and 98% are African-American or Latino.

KIPP NYC is an organization focused on results and results it has shown. Over its lifetime, it can consistently grown to educate more students from low-income families and give them a true opportunity to seek higher education. Their programs have extended from kindergarten to college prep, all supported by a dedicated staff of dynamic teachers. These programs have helped 95% of students score at or higher than the state average in math, 93% of students to finish high school, and 86% of graduates go to college.

In December, PICnet launched a brand new website for the organization, encasing information on various programs, a professional design, and multimedia on staff and students.  It consolidated information from several websites on different programs onto one universal and streamlined site.

Some key components of the project:

  • A lot of content needed to be migrated
  • Information architecture had to be designed for pulling content from multiple sites onto one universal site
  • We set up a simple-viewer photo gallery
  • Plenty of videos for staffers/alumni/families/family testimonials

KIPP NYC is on track to having 50% of their graduates finish college in 6 years in the next two years. The organization’s goal is to strengthen and expand their programs so that 75% of their graduates complete their college degree, compared to national average of 10% for low-income communities.  If you would like to learn more or support these students and teachers in their endeavor, please visit them on the web at

Read more »


PICnet Soapbox Salon Event: This Thursday

Start the New Year off right by attending the next Soapbox Salon at PICnet.  You bring your Joomla! or Non-Profit Soapbox questions, ideas, and lunch, and we’ll bring answers and refreshments.

At this month’s session, join members of the PICnet team as we discuss cool tips to help your Web site rise in the Google rankings, without the snake oil or magic potion.

When: Thursday, January 28, 2010 Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm ET PICnet’s DC Office – 1605 Connecticut Ave. 3rd Floor, Washington, DC (across the street from the Dupont Circle Metro station’s north exit)

Please RSVP by Wed, January 27 by clicking the link below and registering for the event.

Questions?  Contact Julie Dennis at or by calling (202) 585-0273

Register here:

We hope to see you there!


Storing your Stuff…in the clouds. Literally.

You have a very large video file, pdf or document… or you have a large number of smaller files.  These can become too large to store on your web server, and they can quickly push your beyond your bandwidth allowance. So, what do you do?

One solution worth considering is Amazon’s S3 cloud storage solution.  S3 allows you to store large amounts of data at a surprisingly low cost.  Additionally, the cost structure is scalable, so you will only ever pay for what you use. What is Amazon S3? S3 stands for Simple Storage Service.  Simply put in Amazon’s own words, “Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It’s a simple storage service that offers software developers a highly-scalable, reliable, and low-latency data storage infrastructure at very low costs.”

All that means is that it is a service that allows you to store data in the “cloud” in a way that is fast, cheap and reliable. Read more »


Supporting Schools through Soapbox

NYCCharter_screenshotWe recently helped The New York City Charter School Center launch a new Soapbox website in partnership with design firm Big Duck. The organization helps new charter schools get started, supports existing schools,  builds community support, and trains new leaders so that highly effective services can flourish.

The new site is informative and engaging, with aggressive integration through Democracy In Action for events, campaigns, and eNewsletter sign-up and templates. It also includes liberal use of WuFoo custom forms for robust online grant and fellowship applications.

One final cool feature is a Google Map integration displaying more than 100 charter schools in New York that links to more details and content within the site and to the individual schools’ websites.

Learn more about the New York City Charter School Center.