An Eggstravagant Success! 

Record Numbers Attend Carnival to Support Opportunity Scholarship Program

Deanna McCollum
Deanna McCollum
 ·  June 1, 2022

The Institute for Justice has supported the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP)—the educational choice program in Washington, D.C.—since its creation in 2003, and over the past 19 years, the program has served as a lifeline for thousands of struggling families who otherwise couldn’t afford to rescue their children from failing and dangerous public schools in the nation’s capital.  

Despite the incredible opportunity the OSP provides to those in the District who need it most, D.C.’s families have had to regularly fight for the program’s survival as Congress debates whether to reauthorize it. Ultimately, at the core of the debate are the futures of vulnerable children in D.C. 

To support the OSP, IJ’s activism team has helped build two initiatives: D.C. Parents for Opportunity, an advocacy network of nearly 400 parents, and Serving Our Families, which over the past year has worked one on one with 443 families to help place students in schools that best meet their needs.  

The highlight of IJ’s community programming to build these initiatives and recruit new OSP participants is an annual carnival that we, unfortunately, had to put on hold for two years because of the pandemic.  

But in April, we came back in a big way, hosting our first-ever spring-themed “Eggstravaganza,” complete with an egg hunt featuring thousands of eggs and an appearance from the Easter Bunny. After rigorous preparation and canvassing, we were prepared to welcome more than 600 guests to this event. In the end, over 1,300 people attended. This massive spike in attendance made this year’s carnival hands-down our largest and most successful ever.   

Events like these help us stay connected with parents, recruit more families to the program, and reinforce the positive reputation of the OSP in D.C. They are an important—and fun!—complement to IJ’s other efforts, including the research, testimony, outreach, coalition-building, and organizing IJ uses to raise public awareness, generate goodwill, and hold decision-makers accountable.   

After this year’s rousing success, we look forward to even more growth in scholarship applications and even stronger partnerships with parents to ensure the longevity of the OSP.

 Deanna McCollum is an IJ Activism Coordinator.

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