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1,500+ Students, Educators to March to the Capitol for Jan. 26 School Choice Rally with Gov. McMaster

Celebration to feature marching bands, dance teams, remarks from state leaders

Learn how to apply to South Carolina's new Education Scholarship Trust Fund

COLUMBIA, S.C., Jan. 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- K-12 education is on the move in South Carolina, with the state's first education savings account scholarship for low-income students launching this year. In celebration of all of the state's learning options ? from traditional public schools to microschooling ? more than a thousand students, parents, and educators will rally at the South Carolina Capitol on Jan. 26, 2024.

The festive event will kick off with a 9:30 a.m. pep rally at the University of South Carolina Alumni Center (900 Senate St. in Columbia) featuring the talents of students from across the state. Cheer squads, dance teams, choirs, and school bands will perform during the upbeat rally. Following the showcase, students and their families will participate in a spirit-filled march to the State Capitol at 10:45 a.m., accompanied by cheers and the sound of a band.

At 11 a.m. at the State Capitol, a program of diverse speakers will highlight South Carolina's options, the importance of school choice to the Hispanic community, and personal stories of educational leadership and students finding success. A highlight of the program will be Gov. Henry McMaster's presentation of the official proclamation of South Carolina School Choice Week.

Students and families will wrap up the State Capitol programming with a group photo ? "South Carolina's largest-ever selfie" ? and a performance of the official National School Choice Week dance.

A parent workshop, including a catered lunch, will take place at 1 p.m. in the Alumni Center upstairs ballroom. The workshop will provide information to families about South Carolina's recently passed ESA bill, the Education Scholarship Trust Fund, which begins accepting applications on Jan. 15. Led by Americans for Prosperity SC, the workshop will answer parent questions about the new scholarship and guide them through the application process.

"It is such a wonderful experience to be a part of the synergy created by gathering a diverse group of students and parents from various school options. Oftentimes, parents are not aware of the available educational choices but they want the best educational environment where their children can thrive. Our event brings awareness to the various available education choices for students," said Cheryl Cromwell, executive director of Charleston RISE.

This celebration is timed to coincide with National School Choice Week (NSCW), which will feature more than 26,000 school choice events across all 50 states to raise equal and positive awareness of the traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, and home education options available for families. In South Carolina, more than 350 celebrations will take place in schools and homes during the Week.

The Columbia celebration is organized by Charleston RISE and Palmetto Parents Alliance, in collaboration with a variety of schools and organizations across the state.

Families can learn more and RSVP for the free event at columbiaschoolchoiceevent.com.

National School Choice Week (NSCW) informs, inspires, and empowers parents to discover the K-12 education options available for their children, including traditional public, charter, magnet, online, private, and homeschooling. Every January, tens of thousands of schools, organizations, and individuals plan unique events and activities to shine a positive spotlight on effective education options in their communities. The Week is a project of the nonpartisan, nonpolitical National School Choice Awareness Foundation.

SOURCE National School Choice Week

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