by Bethany Blankley
Parents looking to alternatives to educate their children, unhappy with state lockdowns and public school system approaches to learning can find resources available through National School Choice Week 2021 events being held all this week.
The events and resources are designed to empower parents with information about the best educational environments and options for their children.
National School Choice Week (Jan. 24-30) celebrates all of the K-12 education options that parents can choose – or want to be able to choose – for their children. They include traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies and homeschooling.
The week is held every January to help parents at the beginning of the year begin the process of selecting the right school for their children by knowing all of their options. Resources explaining education options and state laws and types of school are available by state.
According to the Center for Education Reform, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota are the top states for their school choice programs. Rounding out the top 10 are the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and South Carolina.
This year, roughly 24 landmarks will have light displays of yellow and red to raise awareness for National School Choice Week 2021.
Iconic landmarks and notable buildings will display red or yellow lights to participate in “Shine for School Choice,” one of more than 33,000 virtual or socially distanced celebrations across the country. Families are encouraged to participate in social media contests, drive-in movie screenings, scavenger hunts, and virtual school fairs – in order to spread awareness of school choice and scholarship opportunities.
Some of the buildings will have light displays for one day or for the entire week. National School Choice has a complete list on its website, with links to locations and times. Each state has a page for events being held statewide.
Perhaps most spectacular will be the lighting of Niagara Falls in upstate New York, which will glow in red and yellow for 15 minutes from 10 to 10:15 p.m. Jan. 24.
The only governor’s mansion to light up all week will be in South Carolina. The Sky Wheel in Myrtle Beach will also be lit yellow and red from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 24.
The only state capitol to light up will be in Nashville, from dusk to dawn Jan. 22-24.
In other states, civic centers, court houses and cultural places are joining the celebration.
In Colorado, the McNichols Civic Center in Denver will light up in red from dusk to dawn all week.
In Florida, the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach will light up in red and yellow from 6 to 11:59 p.m. all week.
In Illinois, the spire of Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago will light up in red at sunset all week.
In Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will light up in red from dusk to dawn all week, and Terminal Tower will light up in red and yellow on Jan. 24.
In Texas, the McLennan County Courthouse in Waco will light up in yellow all week.
This year marks the 11th annual celebration of National School Choice Week; the first celebrations held were in January 2011.
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