American Education Week
American Education Week first observed Dec. 4-10, 1921, was dually sponsored by the National Education Association and the American Legion. Equally distressed that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate and 29 percent were physically unfit, both groups met in 1919, to generate public support for education. The conventions of these organizations subsequently adopted resolutions, seeking to raise awareness about the necessity and importance of public education.
The American Legion Family recognizes that Education is vital to the advancement of individuals and nations. It is in that spirit that we proudly continue our participation in observance of American Education Week. This week presents all of us with an opportunity to honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.
Many people are responsible for providing the opportunities our students need to succeed in academics and life. Every school employee plays an important role in providing a safe, healthy, and nurturing school environment and all work together for the well-being of each student. While teachers instruct and assess student achievement, there are many who prepare them to learn. They drive buses, take temperatures, serve meals, provide discipline and emotional support, manage and maintain buildings, make home visits and counsel students. The amount of dedication and experience expended on a daily basis by these individuals truly cannot be measured.
Our fellow citizens not only provide funding for our schools, they are also a rich source of experience and knowledge. Many local businesses provide opportunities for our students to hone their skills in the work force prior to graduation broadening their practical skills and intellectual abilities. Others come into the schools to offer programs and presentations. Still others help by supporting the many activities, fundraisers, and other events through their attendance, time and monetary donations.
And then there are those unsung heroes who work with students who are homeless, hungry, abused, addicted to drugs, or pregnant—who, without intervention and support, would drop out of school.
Education is the backbone of America’s democracy, providing young people with the tools they need to maintain our values of freedom. People working in the field of public education—teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff—work tirelessly to serve students and communities throughout the nation with care and professionalism. American Education Week acknowledge these dedicated professionals by highlighting the importance of bringing teachers, school staff, parents, students, and the community at large, together in a unified effort to build great public schools.
An African proverb says that it takes an entire village to raise a child. But each of us, by the Power of One, can help build and support that village by encouraging, and thanking, everyone as they work together to ensure a quality education for all students. So on behalf of the members of Mundt-Allen Post and Unit #81, American Legion and Auxiliary…..thank you!
Jeri Brooks Greenwell