American Education Week History
The National Education Association was one of the creators and original sponsors 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 NEA 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.
Other co-sponsors are the U.S. Department of Education and national organizations including the National PTA, the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, the American Association of School Administrators, the National School Boards Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the American School Counselor Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National School Public Relations Association, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
American Education Week is always celebrated the week prior to the week of Thanksgiving.
American Education Week
Raise Your Hand for Student Success
American Education Week—November 18-22, 2013—presents all Americans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. The week-long celebration features a special observance each day of the week. They include:
Monday, November 18: Kickoff Day
Nationwide Kickoff. Across the country, schools will celebrate excellence in education by hosting kickoff events and activities.
Tuesday, November 19: Parents Day
Schools will invite parents into the classroom for a firsthand look at what the school day is like for their children.
Wednesday, November 20: Education Support Professionals Day
Education Support Professionals keep schools running and students safe, healthy and ready to learn. Check out these charts to see how hard ESPs work to serve students in public schools and how committed ESPs are to both their jobs and their communities. Also watch the "It's More Than Just a Job" videos below to learn more about ESP careers.
Thursday, November 21: Educator for a Day
Community leaders will be invited to experience the day as educators and experience the challenges of teaching and the needs of students. Learn more about this program through the Educator for a Day Promotional Kit.
Friday, November 22: Substitute Educators Day
Substitute educators play a vital role in the maintenance and continuity of daily education. Learn more about these professionals and take a look at resources and tips for substitute educators.
~ submitted by Melisa Ostrowski