On Nov. 8, many communities across Minnesota affirmed their support for students and public schools by voting to approve local levies. This week, Minnesotans have the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to quality public education in ways that are more symbolic but still very important.
The 90th annual American Education Week will be observed across the United States Nov. 13-19 with activities to honor educators and reach out to parents and community members. It's a week dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of public schools and the vital role each of us plays in keeping them strong.
The roots of American Education Week go back to World War I, when it was discovered that 25 percent of draftees were illiterate. The American Legion and the National Education Association then came together to support a national effort to increase public awareness of the need for education.
Today that need is greater than ever. Our public schools have the responsibility to prepare students of all backgrounds and abilities for life in a fast-changing, increasingly complex society and economy. Educators are proud to meet the challenge, but we need your help.
Whether or not your local school observes American Education Week, here are a few things you can do to offer your support:
Consider becoming an "educator for a day." Education Minnesota sponsors a program called the K-12 Business Connection, in which business people are paired with a teacher in a local school for a daylong, hands-on classroom experience. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and to schedule a visit.
Help finance a classroom project. School supply budgets are tight these days, and many teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money for classroom needs. Contact your district office to learn how you can help.
Go to iraisemyhand.com to write an online pledge to make a difference, and learn about the many other ways you can get involved in supporting quality public education.