Archive for January, 2011

CSF – climbing the charts with your votes!

We have already reached Week 10 of the 12-week voting cycle of the Members Project contest, and we appreciate the time you have taken to vote and spread the word since late November.

Right now, CSF is in second place, but we are climbing the charts. With only three more weeks left before the voting closes on February 20th, there’s still time to push CSF into #1! Click here to vote again this week!

The support you’ve already shown has been overwhelming. Thank you for every vote, and for every time you share your vote and ask others to join you.

This year, CSF scholarships are helping almost 26,500 children across the country attend a private school their parents have chosen for them. (To see some of the faces of CSF, visit our stories page here.) With $200,000 in funding from American Express, CSF could offer this chance to many more deserving families.

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Kelley Williams-Bolar: The real Tiger Mom?

Deborah Simmons has an interesting column in today’s Washington Times concerning the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, an Akron, OH mom recently jailed for using her father’s address to enroll her daughters at a public school outside her school district.

Like any parent, Ms. Williams-Bolar wanted her girls to get the best education possible. However, she considered her neighborhood zoned school inadequate and dangerous. And as a teaching assistant living in public housing, private school was not an option. Now, as a result of attempting to get her children into a good school, Ms. Williams-Bolar has a criminal record that will bar her from her goal of earning a teacher’s license.

Just released from jail on Wednesday, Ms. Williams-Bolar is fast becoming the centerpiece of a debate on educational inequality. Already her case has been spotlighted on national television, newspapers, and blogs. She’s also the subject of no less than nine Facebook pages and groups.

While the debate will continue about whether Ms. Williams-Bolar was justified in breaking the law, as Simmons notes, we need to remember her children and all the other children who are trapped in underperforming and unsafe schools.

“We can’t get around the fact that Ms. Williams-Bolar broke the law in seeking the means to a better life for her daughters. She committed a crime and has done her time.

But what about her girls and the untold numbers of other low-income boys and girls languishing in troubled schools while inside-the-Beltway powerbrokers tussle over dollar signs?”

You can view a discussion of the case with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien from last night’s Anderson Cooper 360 show here.

MOST Celebrates Educational Choice in Memphis

Good news! CSF’s partner program in Memphis – Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust (MOST) – is featured in today’s Memphis Commercial-Appeal with an article  from MOST staffers Mandy Yandell and Ginger Spickler.

As we celebrate National School Choice Week, Yandell and Spickler highlight the wide variety of school choices available to families of means in Memphis as well as the great opportunities that MOST scholarships provide for low-income families who don’t usually have the same options.

Here’s an excerpt:

“MOST and its supporters believe school choice means more than simply getting into a “good” school. We believe that, at its heart, school choice is about giving parents the resources — informational and financial — to make the best decisions for their children. Parents who feel they have had a say in where their child attends school are more likely to be involved in that student’s education in the classroom and at home. This sense of control over a child’s educational path is one wealthier families might take for granted, but lower-income parents rarely do.”

Four More Weeks to Vote for CSF

Just four weeks remain before February 20th, when the Members Project voting cycle ends. So there are only four more opportunities for you to help CSF win $200,000 to fund more scholarships. Please go to www.takepart.com/membersproject/vote to place your vote.

Fifth-grader Christopher (pictured here) is just one of almost 26,500 children CSF is helping this school year. Christopher and his younger brother, Brandon, attend Saints Joseph & Dominic School in Brooklyn. His mother, Denise, tells us that her sons love their school but as a single working mom she could not afford to send them there without CSF.

“I want my kids to go to college, be decent people, be able to support themselves, and be educated and happy,” Denise tells us. “Having the scholarship relaxes me. Knowing that we have it makes it easier to pay tuition and concentrate on other things.”

Christopher is already thinking about high school and college, and plans to become a lawyer.

Thank you for every vote you make for CSF, Christopher, and almost 26,500 deserving students. Please continue voting, and ask your friends, family, and co-workers to vote too. We want to win!

Bill Cosby, School Choice Fan

Comedian Bill Cosby has long been outspoken about the importance of education.

Earlier this week, Cosby participated in a conference call for National School Choice Week and talked about the need to make low-income students better prepared for college. Read about his support for school choice in the Washington Times.

Vote for CSF, Vote for Christina

This week marks Week 8 (out of 12) of CSF’s participation in Members Project.

Please vote: www.takepart.com/membersproject/vote

With your help and online votes, it is still possible for CSF to win $200,000 that will be put to good use – providing scholarships for children who need and deserve to go to a good school and get a quality education.

To give you an example of the children you are helping with each vote, here is a picture of Christina G., a 7th grader who attends Sacred Heart School in the Bronx using a CSF scholarship. Recently she told us,

“Thank you for giving me a scholarship because I really need it, and my mom is very happy. It made it very easy for her because she now only has to pay half of the school tuition. My family thanks you too because they are proud of me.”

Thank you for every vote you make for CSF! Students like Christina are counting on us all!

CSF is “in” for National School Choice Week

National School Choice Week is coming up very soon – January 23rd- January 29th, 2011 to be exact – and Children’s Scholarship Fund is a proud national partner.

During National School Choice Week, thousands of school choice advocates, teachers, students, organizations and leaders will gather all across the country to build public support for school choice so that more children in our nation can benefit from the promise of educational equality.

Already, a diverse group of national and state-level organizations have joined. And nationally recognized figures including Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Sen. John McCain, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Success Charter Network founder Eva Moskowitz, former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, Dick Morris, Joe Trippi, and singer John Secada have all said “they’re in” for National School Choice Week.

Please help us shine a spotlight on effective education options for every child by adding your voice to National School Choice Week. Go to http://schoolchoiceweek.com and then click on the “Who’s In” tab to sign up and show your support. While you’re on the site, you can find out about events taking place in your area during National School Choice Week.