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Celebrating American Education Week

Updated: May 26, 2023

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

Nov 16-20 2020 education week.
Education Week Banner

American Education Week is a week celebrating our public education community. We thank and celebrate everyone from the custodian, librarian, bus driver, and principal. In 1919, the NEA and the American Legion met to discuss how to raise awareness of 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, 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 following years, additional co-sponsors joined; 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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