We are smack in the middle of American Education Week, an annual observance created 90 years ago in part by the National Education Association (NEA). According to NEA (nea.org),
the observance, honors students’ hard work to learn, recognizes the professionalism and dedication of teachers, support staff and other educators, thanks parents and members of the community who help students succeed, and rededicates the community at large to quality public education for every student.
Back in 1919, NEA and the American Legion joined forces to enhance support of American education in light of disturbing data suggesting that 25% of those who were drafted into World War I were illiterate. Today we use this week as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the sound intellectual, physical, and emotional development of our children in American schools and celebrate and thank all who play a role in ensuring this development.
If you know school students, tell them this week how proud you are of the good work they do, remind them of the importance of the legacy they are receiving. If you know teachers, paraprofessionals, or administrators, thank them for their dedication to the profession they have chosen to pursue. If you have in mind those who provide community service to their child’s school or are simply supportive of their children as they attend school, let them know how important these roles are in their communities.
What am I doing for American Education Week? Tomorrow morning (Thursday), I will be reading to 3rd graders at Bancroft Elementary School in the Kennett Consolidated School District. I will be joining other school board members, district administrators, civic and business leaders, and law enforcement officers to bring the richness of children’s literature to Bancroft students. I will be sure to thank them all for their support of the education of America’s youth.
It should be a great celebration.
Until next time…