Every year, American Education Week is held a week before Thanksgiving. This year, it starts on November 15 and ends on November 19. Have you ever wondered how American education grew to be what it is now? American Education Week is celebrated to remind and reinspire us to make education in America even better, as we celebrate the pace-setting contributors to the educational system. This week involves the students, parents, educators, and the community as they all come together to observe a week dedicated to education. As members of the Higher Education community, we must recognize the fundamental role American Public Education has had in enabling and encouraging students to take hold of their future through pursuing a Higher Education.
HISTORY OF AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK
American Education Week was first celebrated on December 4–10, 1921, after the alarming rate of illiteracy was recognized and a meeting was held in 1919 by the American Legion and representatives of the National Education Association (NEA). The aim of this special week was to create awareness about the need for education and garner support to fund schooling systems. In the years that followed, American Education Week gained sponsors that impacted the American education system.
American Education Week continues annually in every U.S. community to present the achievements and needs of the local public schools and secure support for meeting these needs. It is celebrated with a different theme each year and follows a structure set up by NEA, with an activity created especially for each day.
Monday is the Kick-off Day, celebrating the start of the week by familiarizing students with the theme, activities, and purpose of the event. Tuesday is Family Day, where parents will be invited to actively experience how a school day goes for their children. This has been shown to improve student performance in school. Wednesday is Education Support Professionals Day, a day to celebrate a school’s support staff. Thursday is Educator For A Day. On this day, community leaders will be invited to work as an employee in the school, performing all the duties of a teacher for a full day. Friday is Substitute Educators Day. This day celebrates people who are always available to replace regular teachers when there is a sudden emergency or temporary leave.