Events celebrate school choice week

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Rocky Mount Prep second-grader Niquan Bryant, 8, right, tells Elementary Dean of Instruction Amber Brewer what he loves about his school on Tuesday during a National School Choice Week event at the school.


Staff Writer

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Rocky Mount Prep, the Twin Counties’ oldest charter school, is celebrating National School Choice Week this week with several events.

National School Choice Week, which began in 2011, is the world's largest annual education-related celebration. The goal of National School Choice Week, which features participation from tens of thousands of schools and organizations, is to shine a positive spotlight on effective education options for children, Jordan Griffin, director of communications and recruiting for Rocky Mount Prep, said in a press release.

One of the ways that the school celebrated National School Choice Week on Wednesday was by holding a breakfast reception for parents of children in elementary school. This morning, parents of middle and high school students will have the opportunity to eat breakfast at the school.

“One of the reasons we want to do this is to spotlight the benefits that charter schools bring to families and the community,” Griffin told the Telegram. “This year, as Rocky Mount Prep is now 20 years old, we felt it was especially important to celebrate that.”

On Tuesday, some students at the school had the opportunity to share their thoughts about Rocky Mount Prep.

Amir Hedgepeth, who is “almost 9,” said he loves his charter school. As the students filled out posters about what they liked most about their school, Hedgepeth proudly held up a sign that read “My teachers and my friends are always there for me.”

“I am serious. They never leave my side,” Hedgepeth told the Telegram.

During National School Choice Week, schools across America celebrate the challenging, motivating and effective education they provide to students. At the same time, parents use the week to learn more about the education options available to their children in advance of the upcoming school year, the press release said.

"We are grateful to have Rocky Mount Prep participate in National School Choice Week 2018," National School Choice Week President Andrew Campanella said in the press release. "I salute the students, teachers, staff and families of Rocky Mount Prep for their commitment to raising awareness about educational opportunity. Today's students are tomorrow's leaders, and it's up to everyone to ensure that we prepare children for successful, happy and productive lives. Rocky Mount Prep is working to do that."

The Twin Counties currently has two charter schools and is slated to have a third by next fall. Rocky Mount Prep is a free public charter school serving grades K-12 with a student enrollment of nearly 1,300. North East Carolina Prep School is a K-12 school in Tarboro and the Global Achievers School is slated to open in August in Spring Hope.

There are also four private schools in the Twin Counties: Rocky Mount Academy, Faith Christian School, New Life Christian Academy and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School. In addition, there are approximately 1,000 registered homeschools in the Twin Counties, according to statistics provided by North Carolinians for Home Education.