American Education Week – Nov. 16-20
Walla Walla Public Schools is joining the nation in celebrating American Education Week – November 16th through the 20th. American Education is always celebrated the week prior to Thanksgiving. 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 co-sponsors. A year later, the then U.S. Office of Education joined the effort as a co-sponsor, and the PTA followed in 1938. Other co-sponsors are the U.S. Department of Education and and numerous national education organizations.
American Education Week presents all Americans with an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring every child receives a quality education. The week-long celebration across the nation will spotlight distinguished individuals who are critical in building great public schools for the nation's 50 million K-12 students.