From Janet Nunn, a Charlotte grandmother, in response to Charles Jeter’s column, “Even voucher supporters discover vouchers don’t work” (March 2):
My granddaughter Nariah is a beautiful, smart, and caring young girl. Nariah is in second grade at Victory Christian Center School in Charlotte. Yes, she is a former public school student, and yes she attends VCCS thanks to North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Program. It’s worth noting, the scholarship only covers about half of her tuition and thankfully the school offers additional financial assistance. With that and my own personal sacrifice, her tuition is covered.
I can tell you, without hesitation, that since she moved to VCCS I have seen Nariah blossom as a student and as a young girl.
You can imagine my surprise when I saw a piece by former Rep. Charles Jeter questioning the scholarship program and making assumptions about it based on studies from other states. To add insult to injury, whose picture accompanied the article? It’s my granddaughter! (Editor’s note: The photo was selected by an Observer editor, not by Jeter.)
Honestly, if not for the scholarship program I’m not sure what her academic future would look like.
The Opportunity Scholarship Program has been a lifeline for Nariah. When we moved her to VCCS, I made a difficult choice for her to repeat the first grade. Thank God I did and that she now receives the individual support she needs. She is soaring now and she loves to read. In fact, she is knocking it out of the park with A’s in both writing and reading on her most recent progress report.
Just this weekend, I was feeling under the weather and Nariah read stories to me to cheer me up. I teared up because she read so beautifully and I was so proud of her.
I urge Mr. Jeter and all those opposed to the Opportunity Scholarship Program to think about stories of success, like Nariah’s. The Opportunity Scholarship Program gave us hope, and it continues to give my family an educational choice that we so desperately needed. As for assessing the effectiveness of this young program based on results from other states, I’d also ask that Mr. Jeter, while he is looking at the facts and figures, considers testimonials like mine. The program gives parents a choice, and a much needed voice in their child’s education – listen to us!
Email Nunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.