BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Hundreds of parents and their kids gathered in Beckley on Saturday for a unique fair.

January 22nd through the 28th is National School Choice Week.

To kick off the week, a school choice fair was held in Southern West Virginia for the first time ever.

Over 40 schools, from public to private to micro-home schools, covering Pre-K through 12th grade, set up booths at Tamarack.

Jamie Buckland, founder and executive director of West Virginia Families United for Education, said the fair let parents learn more about all of the opportunities available for their kids.

“With all of those additional options, we saw a need for families to have, kind of like an expert guide to help them understand what all of those options are, have someone they can ask questions to, that can help them understand how to enroll or apply for the various opportunities,” said Buckland.

For parents like Sarah Harris, the event shows how much the area values education, as well as the options that are open to her children.

“Having an event like this here in Beckley today just shows me that our community is strong and that there are so many people on this path that are similar to ours, trying to find what fits for their kids,” said Harris.

But it wasn’t just the parents who were learning new information about the local schools.

“And I feel like the providers themselves are networking and finding ways to expand and collaborate on their curriculum and offerings,” said Harris. So there is a lot of synergy going on here right now, just in terms of community building and networking and growth.”