On Thursday, the Children’s Scholarship Foundation (CSF) celebrated its New Hampshire partnership during National School Choice week with the former New Hampshire staff of the Network for Educational Opportunity at the Grappone Center in Concord. The event was a reception following the announcement of the partnership between the two organizations. In attendance were donors, supporters, families and children who are beneficiaries of the education scholarship that allows low to moderate-income children escape schools that aren’t working for them.
New Hampshire’s own Kate Baker and Kathleen Rago will continue to work in the state to help more families earn scholarship awards and gain more support from individuals and local businesses who fund these scholarships through the Education Tax Credit. The program has awarded 243 Granite State children more than $300,000 in scholarships over the past three years. From the press release:
Granite State businesses have an exciting role to play in improving educational opportunities for New Hampshire’s children in 2016. The Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) recently announced it has hired Kate Baker to head its New Hampshire operations, and Kathy Lauer Rago to serve as Program Manager, effective January 1st. Upon receiving all necessary state approvals, CSF will administer Education Tax Credit scholarships formerly managed by the Network for Educational Opportunity (NEO).
In an exclusive interview with Baker where Examiner asked how families find her organization and what she’d like to see next, she said the new goal will be to raise $500,000 in one year to help even more children.
$300,000 is the total for 3 years. Last year the total program was $200,000 and it was 128 kids. We’d like to go up to $500,000 and help 300 kids or more this year.
We have already had about 2,000 applicants over the years. Schools refer people to us. Other social organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs refer people to us. There’s a huge demand for scholarship assistance. It is the only K-12 scholarship program in New Hampshire.
What we find is families encounter a challenge. For example if their child is being bullied or if their child is bored in school or if their child has special needs in school that aren’t being met. Those parents, when they encounter those types of situations where they know they need something better for their children start looking at education options and they find us.
A mother whose children are beneficiaries of the scholarship fund spoke at the reception and explained that thanks to the Children’s Scholarship Fund her children are much happier in school today as a result. Her words can be summed up in the following from her speech:
Less than a year ago, my son said he’d rather run away rather than have to attend another day at his local public school where he was getting failing marks for some of his subjects. He was frustrated filling in circles, practicing for standardized tests, and trying to understand common core curricula. Today, he is a bright young man learning two languages, achieving A+s, being helped by an amazing group of teachers who aren’t constrained by the same factory-style limitations of public school systems.
This program has been a miracle for us.
If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life. – Plato
Children’s Scholarship Fund not only helps us walk, but has set us free…so that we may run.
A former student who was a beneficiary of the scholarship fund also spoke about what in incredible experience it had been for her. She has since earned a full scholarship from an excellent private school where she now thrives and loves it.
CSF has big goals for fundraising and for children in the future. Individuals and businesses can get information about donating and the Education Tax Credit by going to their website or contacting Kate Baker directly. Businesses are only eligible for the credit from January 1 through June 15th.
Families of students who are interested can also find application information on their website. CSF also provides information to families about schools in their areas that may be more appropriate for their children. The goal of the Children’s Scholarship Foundation partnership in New Hampshire is to help as many Granite State children as possible.