The Garrison Girls’ Education Freedom Story

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Sisters Taylor, Alexis, and Delaney have “progressed immensely” since enrolling at Laconia Christian Academy.

Randall Kelley first heard about the school choice options available through Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire during the process of passing the Education Freedom Accounts (EFA) program, which became law in the summer of 2021. Randall thought EFAs were a great idea, providing education opportunity for every student, regardless of income or geography. But he didn’t think he needed it himself, seeing as he had no school-age children at home.

That all changed when Randall and his wife Janice became guardians of their three granddaughters, Taylor, Alexis, and Delaney Garrison, right in the middle of the pandemic. All three girls were attending public schools at the time.

“When we became guardians, we went and talked with the school [teachers and administrators] as they were transitioning back to classrooms [after the pandemic closures]. During that transition, they shut things down a few times due to just one or two cases of COVID. This seemed an extreme policy to us, but we got pushback when we asked questions. On top of that, our middle child had picked up negative behaviors from peers at the school and the youngest (Delaney) could not read or write at all.” It turns out that Delaney had ADD, but she had not been diagnosed during this time, so she was not getting the support she needed.

For all those reasons, Randall and Janice knew that they needed a different education option for their girls, but it was difficult to see how they would be able to make it work. That’s when they remembered the options available through CSF.

Janice shared what a blessing it was to be able to send all three girls to Laconia Christian Academy (LCA). “By the grace of God, we were able to get information about CSF and apply for assistance. They are starting their second year with LCA and they couldn’t be happier…. their education is so much better, the class sizes are more manageable, and they are really thriving. Randall took them to Concord to fight to keep the scholarship alive along with several other students from LCA. My oldest granddaughter Taylor spoke of the impact of the school choice on her life along with how it has helped her sisters.”

Randall is in complete agreement. “The girls have all progressed immensely. Taylor is an honors student, Alexis is a high honor student, and Delaney is doing great according to her teacher.” Randall and Janice have been able to get the guidance they need to help Delaney with her ADD, and she has made tremendous progress in the past six to eight months. “We work with her every day, and she is now receiving the support she needs to get caught up on reading and writing.”

Randall is especially grateful for the structure and discipline they provide his girls. “We want them to be a contribution to society. Like now, they are always asking how they can help. I don’t think that would happen if they weren’t at LCA.”

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