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Later this month, the nation’s largest-ever celebration of educational opportunity will kick off. During National School Choice Week (Jan 26-Feb 1), 50,000 events and activities around the nation will raise awareness about K-12 education choices.

The real impact of school choice is what gives the Week such energy. A learning environment can change a life, sometimes unexpectedly. Remember the Dr. Seuss story featuring a character who, until he actually tries it, insists a dish of green eggs and ham is not for him? As President of National School Choice Week, I have the joy each month of hearing students, parents, and educators around the country share their own “green eggs and ham” moments.

A teacher who was ready to leave the education field – until she overcame her skepticism about teaching in a virtual school. A mom who never dreamed she’d homeschool – until her son’s medical needs led her to discover its benefits. A student who felt out of place in his previous school, but is now happy and thriving in a different traditional public school.

That’s the power of school choice. All children learn differently and families’ needs vary. In the midst of healthy differences and human change, choice empowers families to access the learning environments that work for them now.

School choice recognizes that parents are best positioned to know their child’s passion for botany, reading struggles, or penchant for drawing quirky cartoons. And those same parents are best qualified to choose their children’s learning environments.

National School Choice Week celebrates traditional public, public charter, magnet, private, online, and home education. We celebrate and support families, too, whichever type of school they choose. That’s because when families and schools bring their gifts together, students succeed.

All children deserve to close their school books at the end of each week inspired and equipped to give back. So, if you love your school, celebrate it during School Choice Week! If you’re searching for a school, be willing to try something new to find the right fit. You might have a green-eggs- and-ham moment, when your child’s frustration with learning turns into an excited “I do love it!”

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