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Celebrating American Education Week

Each year we celebrate American Education Week the week before Thanksgiving, but why? And what is it? Here's all you, or your PTA/PTO group, need to know.

American Education Week is a week of celebrating our public education community. We thank and celebrate everyone from the custodian, to librarian, to bus driver, to principal. In 1919, the NEA and the American Legion met to discuss how to raise awareness for the importance of public education. At the time, a quarter of WWI draftees were illiterate and both organizations wanted to figure out a way to promote the need for education. Over the next two years, they adopted resolutions to support these efforts. In December 1921, in an effort to "spotlight" education, the NEA and the American Legion co-sponsored the first American Education Week. In 1922, the US Office of Education joined as the third sponsor and the National PTA became the fourth sponsor in 1938. In the years that followed, additional co-sponsors joined and today there are 13 co-sponsors.

Celebrated the week before Thanksgiving, American Education Week has a different focus for each of the five days in that week. Although there are many different ways to celebrate those themes, here are a few ideas:

Monday: Kick Off Day

  • Submit a piece to a local newspaper

  • Host a school kick off meeting outlining activities for the week

Tuesday: Family Day

  • Ask parents to get involved in their child's education for the day. Teachers can circulate questions for parents to discuss with their children that evening.

Wednesday: Education Support Professionals Day

  • PTAs or PTOs can arrange a gift basket for support professionals

  • Ask children to write thank yous (as part of kick off) and deliver them on Wednesday

Thursday: Educator for a Day

  • Invite parents into the classroom for an activity - they can read a book over Zoom, or facilitate an activity in person (where applicable)

Friday: Substitute Educators Day

  • Host a professional development course for substitute educators in your district

You can also visit the original founding organization, the National Education Association, for the meaning behind each day and additional ways to celebrate each day.

On behalf of K-12 Clothing, thank you to all who make our public school system a fun, educational, and enriching experience for our children.

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