Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Celebrating Education Reform at the ESPYS

Champions for Choice Event a Success
By Lisa Leslie
Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist and former WNBA star

With my fabulous co-hosts
Kevin P. Chavous and Jalen Rose
One of my favorite events of the year is the ESPY Awards. It is a fantastic opportunity for sports stars, celebrities and fans to join forces and celebrate the athletic achievements of the past year – And this year was no exception!

I was especially excited for this year’s event as I had the opportunity to co-host “Champions for Choice in Education” with Jalen Rose  and Kevin P. Chavous. The event allowed us to educate fellow celebrities and athletes about the importance of educational choice.

An estimated 300 people, including some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment, came out to the WP-24 Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton for the Champions for Choice in Education event. I was so grateful to see so many friends, athletes, stars and education advocates all in one room. You can see some of the pictures from the event on AFC's Facebook page.

Thousands of kids across the country – including many in our very own community, will fall through the cracks this year because they do not have access to an education that works for their needs. For many of these kids, their failing school is their only educational option. We must do more as a nation to provide all kids with access to the best education for their needs.

Educational options – including private school choice programs – have a proven track record of providing students from low- to middle-income families with access to a good education.  Providing parents with the ability to choose the school that they feel is best for their children is the foundation for ensuring every single child has every opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Through my work with AFC, I have had the opportunity to travel the country and hear the success stories of those children who have access to the education of their parents’ choice. I also have heard first-hand the stories of those children trapped in schools that do not work for their needs.

We cannot let these kids fall through the cracks. And, that’s why I was so grateful to see so many celebrities attend the Champions for Choice event and lend their voices to the thousands of children across the country who want access to a school that works.   

Thanks again to all those who attended as well as our event sponsors, the Alliance for School Choice, the American Federation for Children, The Broad Foundation and The Walton Family Foundation! I am so thankful for all of their hard work in advocating for all children to receive the quality education of their parents’ choice!

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