Communities nationwide are joining the NEA from November 16-22 to celebrate 93 years of American Education Week (AEW), the annual observance that honors students, teachers, education support professionals, parents and community members who help students succeed.
AEW was born out of national concern over illiteracy and was first celebrated in 1921 with NEA and the American Legion as cosponsors. Events take place the week before Thanksgiving and are designed to honor the hard work of students, recognize the professionalism and commitment of educators, and appreciate parents and community members who work toward quality public schools for every student.
The overarching goal of AEW was to generate public awareness and support for education, and that goal continues today.
This year, NEA’s t top three leaders will enjoy a homecoming welcome as they’re set to return to their home states where they taught and first became involved in Association work.
NEA President Lily Eskelsen García will travel to Utah midweek, where she’s scheduled to recognize the valuable and important work of education support professionals with a visit to Odyssey Elementary School in Wood Cross. The leader of the largest labor union in the country also plans to relive her “lunch lady” days by working alongside the school’s food service workers.
Meanwhile, NEA Vice President Rebecca “Becky” Pringle will return to Pennsylvania and dive right into a classroom to work with students at Turner Elementary School in Wilkinsburg. She will also head to the Wilkinsburg Administration building for a special event with the Superintendent, School board Members, the Local President, and members.
NEA Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss will head to Virginia at the end of the week, where she’ll lead a group of students in a “make your own comic” activity, alongside educators and special guest, Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series.
Tennessee and Texas will also serve as hosts to AEW events.
The weeklong celebration will feature a special observance each day of the week, spotlighting a different aspect of school life. Here are some of the highlights:
Monday, November 17: Nationwide Kickoff. From national commemorations to local community events such as AEW house parties, millions of Americans will celebrate public education nationwide.
Tuesday, November 18: Parents Day. Schools will invite parents into the classroom for a hands-on experience of what the day is like for their child.
Wednesday, November 19: Education Support Professionals Day. Individuals who provide invaluable services to schools are recognized for their outstanding work.
Thursday, November 20: Educator for a Day. Community leaders will be invited to serve as educators to get a glimpse at a day in the life of a school employee.
Friday, November 21: Substitute Educators Day. This day honors the educators who are called upon to replace regularly employed teachers.
To help plan and promote AEW celebration days, visit NEA.org for tips and ideas. Be sure to follow AEW on Facebook and Twitter with #aew2014.