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American Education Week will be Nov. 18-22

Published: Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 11:08 a.m. CST

During American Education Week, November 18-22, 2013, Americans nationwide will join the National Education Association in raising awareness about the need to provide every child with a quality public education. 

The celebration highlights the importance of bringing together educators, parents, students, and communities in a unified effort to build great public schools.  It also reflects NEA’s vision of calling upon America to provide public school students with quality schools so that they can grow and achieve in the 21st century.

NEA’s vision to provide quality education dates back to WW1.  Distressed that 25 percent of the country’s World War 1 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 to support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education.  In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines called for designation of one week each year to spotlight education. 

In its resolution, the NEA called for “And educational week…observed in the 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 observation 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.

To quote NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, “public schools are the foundation of our country’s propriety and strength.  We must honor all Americans who are committed and dedicated to giving our nation’s children a basic right to a great public education.”

To further reinforce American Education Week’s theme, the following events and activities will be happening in our school district: students at Thomas Jefferson have made posters to express what education means to them, look for them hanging in windows of local businesses! Berg Middle School plans to have students write about what education means to them.  Some buildings will be honoring substitute teachers on Friday with treats.

Please help us in celebrating all of Newton’s educators next week!

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