GCISD, in partnership with the Carroll and Keller Independent School Districts, is inviting all taxpayers, parents and educators to a community rally on Thursday, February 7, in support of the state's public schoolchildren. The Our Schools, Our Voice Celebration Rally is an opportunity for all members of our community to see and hear the great things happening in our public schools and get resources for how to be informed, be involved and be an advocate for their public schools. The rally, which is open and free of charge, will feature student performances as well as brief comments from business, educator and parent representatives. The program begins at 7 p.m. in the main gym of Grapevine High School, 3223 Mustang Drive in Grapevine.
The purpose of the rally is to increase awareness of the programs, opportunities and quality of education provided in our schools as well as the challenges facing public education in Texas. The three districts have united with the common goal of encouraging our communities to ask lawmakers to Make Education A Priority.
Texas students and teachers have already felt the impact of $5.4 billion less in state funding as a result of legislative cuts. Additional state mandates, increased state testing requirements and reduced local control have compounded the challenges for public school districts. Program organizers say they hope to rally constituents to get educated about issues impacting their schools and districts, show their pride in Texas public schools and make their voices heard with their local lawmakers. Members of the audience will be encouraged to tweet messages using the Twitter hashtag, #supportTXschools.
Master of Ceremonies for the rally will be Lewis Johnson, a seven-time NBC Olympic sports analyst who is a taxpayer and parent in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. Johnson leads a line-up of speakers to include businessman Frank Bliss of Southlake Town Square and Nika Maples, 2007 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year from Keller ISD. Parents representing each district also will address the crowd. Short educational videos and student performances will cap off an evening of celebrating public education. GCISD student performances include the National Anthem, a student skit and the CHHS jazz choir, which will be performing selections from one of this year's concerts featuring songs by the classic rock band Toto. The GHS Drumline will join in a cadence march with drumline officers from Carroll and Keller ISDs.
Following the program, rally attendees are invited to visit information tables in the lobby. Representatives from each district, as well as the event speakers, will be available for questions. In addition, a special website will be available following the rally. Officials from the three districts hope that other districts in regions across the Lone Star State will join together to host similar rallies this spring in support of public education.