(AgapePress) - A prestigious Maryland school has announced its "Homeschooling's Best Awards" for lifetime achievement, advocacy, and heroism.

Calvert School in Baltimore reviewed the accomplishments of more than 60 people before selecting the top three contributors to home schooling in 2004.  Kay Brooks of Tennessee was named home schooling's "Best Advocate."  She mobilized 50,000 home schoolers who convinced the Tennessee State Legislature to modify its Hope Scholarship requirements to ensure that home-schooled students compete on equal footing with their public school peers.

While admitting she feels honored by the recognition, the mother of four humbly says all she did was "tell people this is what's going on and here's how you can impact the system."  The credit, she says, should go to the home schoolers themselves.

"I really feel like they deserve the accolades for stepping up to the plate and asserting their rights as citizens in this state," says Brooks, founder of the website TnHomeEd.com.  And as for the award she received?  "I'm a little surprised -- it's about the only payment I get [for being a home schooler], so I was kidding with them [that] I'll enjoy moving this little paperweight around my desk because it will encourage me in my efforts in the future -- and that encouragement is really nice."

Jean Halle, the president of Calvert School Educational Services, says the contributions of Brooks and the other award recipients set a new standard.  "In all three cases they just made a real contribution to their communities," she says.  "That's very exciting for us."

Calvert's "Lifetime Achievement Award" went to attorney Chris Klicka with the Home School Legal Defense Association; and 12-year-old Jessica Sara Halpern of Sherman Oaks, California, was named home schooling's "Best Hero" for heading up a campaign that collected more than 500 blankets for the homeless in the Los Angeles area.

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Calvert School (http://www.calvertschool.org)