Support education in November
What:Every child in America has a right to an education, and each day almost50 millionchildren exercise their right and head off to a public school. Though children are guaranteed a place to learn, it is up to parents, educators, and school staff members to make each school day safe, stimulating, and worthwhile. During American Education Week from Nov. 14-20, support the people who make it their daily mission to help students get the most out of their education.
Background:The creation of American Education Week was spurred by the lack of support for public education. After finding that nearly 25 percent of World War I draftees could not read, the National Education Association (NEA) and American Legion met in 1919 to discuss how to better advance American education. In 1921, the NEA dedicated a week to informing the public on ways to support American education. Cosponsored by the American Legion, the event was observed in early December. Today, it is observed the week before Thanksgiving and is cosponsored by more than 10 national organizations. This year,each dayrecognizes the different individuals who make schools great, from teachers to parents.
Story Pitch:American Education Week is a great opportunity for schools to show their appreciation for volunteers, parents, and others who support their students. Schools can hold open houses to talk with community members about how together they can help students achieve a better education. Health and nutrition groups can promote ways students can keep healthy in school through nutritious school lunches, stimulating gym classes or sports programs. Local historical sites, museums and educational centers can reach out to schools to help them organize field trips for students.
Story Hook:One of the best ways to reinforce what children learn in school each day and keep them interested in learning is through active parental involvement. While many parents stay involved in their children’s education by volunteering their time to help with school activities or attending parent-teacher meetings,a significant numberof children don’t receive support from their parents. What barriers prevent some parents from taking a more active role in their children’s education? How can schools connect with them? Consider the following questions when making your pitch:
- What is a regular day like for a teacher or student at a local school? What are the common issues they face, and what makes their school day special?
- What are some of the special programs the local school system runs? How can parents with special-needs children enroll them in a program?
- How can aspiring teachers, including college students and professionals, become certified in a school district?
- Are certain programs losing funding or being cut from local schools? How can community organizations fill this gap?
Tips:Provide an award-winning teacher as a contact to talk about what makes teaching a worthwhile and rewarding job. A representative from a local school’s PTA or PTO can also talk about how parents can be more involved in their children’s education.
American Education Week
National Association of State Boards of Education
National Education Association
U.S.Department of Education
–Researched, compiled & written by Kristina Elliott
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