IJ’s annual Winter Carnival brings together more than 1,200 parents and children from across D.C. to celebrate D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP). The OSP, which provides scholarships to underserved families to attend private schools, is the only federal educational choice program in the country. Since the OSP must be reauthorized every few years by Congress, IJ has a unique opportunity to support, advocate for, and grow a valuable choice program right in our own backyard.
IJ’s largest event of the year, the Winter Carnival is a day of fun for families, with giant inflatables, prizes, games, and lots of cotton candy. But it is also a chance for parents to ask for help and advice on participating in the program. At this year’s Carnival, more than 100 families consulted with OSP staff—with 51 families completing their applications. Meanwhile, IJ staff and volunteers helped more than 300 families sign up to receive additional information from D.C. Parents for Opportunity, the parent network that supports and advocates for the program. Thanks to events like the Carnival and the work of IJ and our allies, this January the OSP was again reauthorized by Congress to continue serving families.
The Carnival is just one way we provide ongoing support for educational choice in D.C. and elsewhere as we seek to ensure that students of all backgrounds have a chance to attend the best schools for them.