American Education Week (AEW), first celebrated in 1921 (read history below), is an opportunity to celebrate public education, to inform the community of the accomplishments and needs of public schools, to secure cooperation and support from the public, and to honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.
During American Education Week, DoDEA celebrates our ongoing efforts to provide excellence in education, for all of our students, every day, everywhere. DoDEA also recognizes the important partnerships we have forged with parents, students, and civilian and military communities to improve the quality of education for children of military families.
Our schools take on an additional role and significance in our communities, often providing the stability, routine and focus for families affected by current global events, deployments, and separations.
Click to the NEA website for great ideas and ready-made artwork to help your school celebrate American Education Week!
As structured by NEA, every day of the week has a special focus:
Monday is Kick-Off Day
Tuesday is Invite Parents to School Day
Wednesday is Education Support Professionals Day
Thursday is Educator for a Day Day
Friday is Substitute Educators Day
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 Legion Auxiliary, 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.