Rally at USC’s Alumni Center celebrates National School Choice Week

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — This week is National School Choice Week.

To celebrate, a rally was held at University of South Carolina’s Pastides Alumni Center.

Students, parents, and teachers met to promote a student’s right to choose the brand of education that’s right for them.

According to the event’s host, My SC Education, the celebration raises awareness about the benefits of school choice including public, charter, magnet, virtual, home school, and private school options.

Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette spoke at today’s rally.

“One size doesn’t fit all for anything. And it doesn’t fit people for education. We have kids that learn better in different environments. I’m a Mom and have three children and they all have specific talents. And you want an environment that enriches those talents. They all learned differently. You want schools that make children be the most they can be. And so that’s why I’m hoping people will see how excited parents are and how excited kids are and how well they’re really doing,” says Evette.

Ninth grader Makayla Blemmons also spoke at today’s event.

“I think it’s so important because there’s so many conflicts within school everyday and I think it’s an amazing concept that the parents also care about this event especially for so many students,” Blemmons says.

Shelia Jones, Student Success Coordinator at Richland One Middle College, is an advocate for school choice.

“A lot of times what we do is we try to put everyone in a jar. And when you’re talking about students and you’re talking about education, no jar can fit one person. So having a choice is very important,” says Jones.

Student Jeremiah Jenkins believes South Carolina has the potential to lead in education.

“So it’s just moments like these where you truly get to see our kids’ excellence and it’s just really inspiring and motivating,” Jenkins says.

Cheryl Cromwell is the Executive Director for the non-profit group Charleston Rise. Cromwell says the group trains parents to advocate for their child’s education.

“A part of that is helping parents to understand the difference between the models and why it’s important to have options — quality school options — for their children,” Cromwell says.

According to the South Carolina Department of Education, the amount of choice a student has varies from one school district to another.

The annual march to the SC State House was cancelled due to rainy weather.

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