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Begun in 1921 as part of an effort to raise America’s literacy rate after WWI, American Education Week presents all Americans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor the individuals who dedicate their lives to ensuring every child receives a quality education.
Distressed that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the NEA (National Education Association) and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education. Having decided on a national week of awareness, the first observance of American Education Week occurred December 4th-10th, 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 that have joined over the years include the National School Boards Association and many more.
Celebrated annually during the last full week before Thanksgiving, the theme for this year’s celebration is Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility.
The weeklong celebration features daily themes and this year they are:
Events take place all week and are meant to honor the commitment of educators, the hard work of students, as well as the parents and other community members who work tirelessly to ensure better schools for all students.
Want to get involved? Here are 4 of our favorite ways to celebrate the week with passion and enthusiasm:
Do you have any other ideas? Please share them with us and all the other education enthusiasts out there with the hashtag #AEW2016 and #ruvna. Comment below, let’s discuss together!