LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) - A group that helps lower-income students attend private schools presented a check for $14,000 to Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences on Tuesday. Opportunity Scholarship Fund was established to provide a private school education, for students who meet specific criteria.
At the Academy, alone, the fund doubled the number of scholarships it provides. They’re providing 30 partial scholarships for some students at Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences totaling around $35,000. The Opportunity Scholarship Fund helps Oklahoma students attend a private school when they might not have been able to otherwise.
Rolanda Cole's granddaughter goes to Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences. She likes it because it helps kids who are not like all other students.
"All children deserve the very best education that they can get," Cole said. "Some do well in public school, and many and many children are on either side, and I think thankful for the scholarship because it allows those on either side to come to a school like this."
After switching to the Academy of Arts and Sciences, her granddaughter skipped kindergarten and went straight to first grade.
"She's doing wonderful,” she said. “She's keeping up, and she's near the top."
Opportunity Scholarship Fund executive director Rob Sellers said he hopes these scholarships help the kids transition to private school.
"The fact that you can actually know that you are having a particular impact in doing the best for that child to get them ready for college, and ready for adulthood that is going to be much greater than their childhood is a great feeling," Sellers said.
Cole said changing schools changed her granddaughter’s perspective on learning.
"Her mother asked her what some of her favorite things were to do and she said going to school was one of her favorite things to do,” Cole said. “So, we know, I'm happy with the school, my daughter is happy with the school, but we also know that my granddaughter is very happy because she said it's one of her favorite things to do and places to go."
Sellers said they’ll give around 1,500 scholarships to students across the state this year, including Lawton Christian School and Altus Christian Academy. If you’re interested in possibly getting a partial scholarship, he says you can find a list of schools they give scholarships to at OSFkids.org.