RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - Richmond Public Schools want to be your choice for educating your children.
Officials went door-to-door in the first district to kick off their Choice Campaign an informational effort to persuade residents that public school is the best option.
The campaign stems from this statistic: there are 35,000 school age kids living in Richmond only 24,000 of them actually go to Richmond Public Schools.
They are an army of messengers from public figures, to average citizens and public school students all wanting you to know they're the best.
Any public official can tell you the battle they are fighting is against perception.
"I think there are perceptions about what goes on in Richmond Public Schools," said Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones. "But you know we can either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution.
"Of course we have our urban challenges but we also have a majority of great kids who do great things everyday and an outstanding set of teachers who do great things everyday to provide educational opportunities," said School Superintendent Dr. Yvonne Brandon.
The first district isn't the first stop on the campaign because of numeric order, school officials say this area has a higher population of kids who don't actually attend Richmond Public Schools.
Richmond enlisted the help of students who actually attend public schools.
These kids went door to door with information.
Elise Sale knows firsthand there are many options for education.
She attended private school through eighth grade and put a lot of thought into the decision to switch to Thomas Jefferson High.
"The teachers are great here, obviously no tuition, the students were really interesting, when I came to shadow here they were having discussions on literature and it was this wonderful place," said Sale.
School officials, however, recognize there is work to be done on the long road ahead.
They just want that journey to include some of the 11,000 kids who aren't currently enrolled.
"We want everyone to know that we're on focus, we're on point and we are moving from competence to excellence," said Brandon.
The choice campaign will canvass the entire city.
The fourth district is the next stop in August.
If you have any questions you can contact Richmond Public Schools at 780-7700.