The National Education Association’s American Education Week spotlights the importance of providing every child in America with a quality public education. It also highlights the need for everyone to do his or her part in making public schools great!
History of American Education Week
Distressed that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the the National Education Association and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education.
The conventions of both organizations subsequently adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa, called for designation of one week each year to spotlight education. In its resolution, the NEA called for: “An educational week … observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs.”
The first observance of American Education Week occurred December 4-10, 1921, with the NEA and American Legion as the cosponsors. A year later, the then U.S. Office of Education joined the effort as a cosponsor, and the PTA followed in 1938.
How can you celebrate American Education Week?
The NEA offers the following suggestions:
- Share your plans and photos at .
- Celebrate with your social networks and use #AEW2016.
- Check Out 15 Awesome Conversation Starters for Kids at this listicle of “15 Awesome Questions to Generate Conversation with Your Kids.”
- Find 2016 Artwork to use in your celebrations: 2016 poster, web banners, ads and more.
- If you or a colleague an Education Support Professional, check out a special guide for celebrating Education Support Professional Day.
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