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 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
Resources for Parents
Students' homes and classrooms are the focal points of their learning experiences—from kindergarten through high school. Parents who work with teachers and students are critical partners in helping their child achieve success.
Parents set the example and the tone for their child's approach to education. When parents are engaged, interested and supportive in their child's learning, the child is more likely to succeed.
Bridging the divide between what is learned in the classroom to how it is relevant in day-to-day life is a critical role for parents. It brings meaning to their child's learning experience.
Parents can make learning real and ensure that students understand the importance of achieving.
Check out NEA's Read Across America for ideas to promote student achievement in reading.
When your child doesn't know a word in her reading books, should you tell her what it is? Should you teach your child the alphabet before he starts school? NEA's reading tips have the answers.
Here are a few ways to help your kids:
Read with your children regularly. Encourage them to read.
Let your children know that homework is their job. Make sure they do it.
Volunteer at your child's school.
Get to know your child's teacher. Attend parent-teacher conferences.
Discuss safety issues openly. Help make sure there aren't barriers to learning.
Do you read with your child regularly?
Do you talk with your child about homework assignments?
Have you volunteered at your child's school?
Do you know your child's teacher and have you been to the parent-teacher conference?
Do you know what your child thinks about the school environment?
Also take a look at Answers to Your Toughest Homework Questions ( 1p, 302k).
Teachers need your help to do a first-class job. Working together, you can help your child have a successful school year. Parent Tips For Effective Parent/Teacher Conferences ( 1p, 459k) offers tips for a productive meeting.