How IJ Celebrated National School Choice Week

IJ is committed to defending the right of parents—not politicians, not bureaucrats—to choose the education that best fits their child’s needs. When needed, we defend this right in court, and we’ve been doing so for 25 years. We also support a parent’s right to choose outside of the courtroom, from legislative chambers, to the halls of academia, to community centers in failing inner-city school districts. Because here’s the not-so-well-kept secret about school choice: It works.

Nowhere is the need for education reform more critical than the District of Columbia.  That’s why IJ celebrates National School Choice Week each January by helping recruit families to apply for the life-changing scholarships offered by the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.  The D.C. OSP provides low-income students with scholarships to attend D.C. private schools. The application process takes time, and parents must meet with OSP staff to complete the necessary paperwork. Doing that with a squirming five-year-old in the lap is nearly impossible. That’s where IJ lends a hand.

On Saturday, January 30, as in years past, IJ partnered with Serving Our Children to co-host a children’s carnival in conjunction with the OSP’s largest application event of the year.  While moms and dads were busy filling out forms, kids enjoyed playing carnival games, winning prizes, and taking home children’s books. The fun included music, arts and crafts, face painting, balloon twisting, and even a visit by Washington Redskins legend Santana Moss, who dropped by to talk about the importance education played in his own life.  With over 500 guests, Saturday’s event had record-setting attendance, highlighting the growing demand for opportunity in education.

Thousands of events occur during the annual National School Choice Week, and they come in all shapes and sizes.  These events raise public awareness about educational choice in all its forms—scholarship programs, charter schools, education savings accounts, magnet schools, online learning, homeschooling, and more. This year’s celebration included 16,140 locally organized events shining a spotlight on school choice. You can host your own event next year, and continue to advance school choice in your community in the meantime.  IJ will be. So give us a call if you want to get involved.

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