Grocery bags at area grocery stores will again be decorated with education-themed art by area schoolchildren as part of American Education Week being celebrated Nov. 14-20 this year.
"American Education Week is just a week we thank the teachers for what they do for our kids, and look at how important education is. It's a week we can say thank you to all our teachers for all they do that goes unnoticed a lot of the time," said Pam Lowe, president of the Sikeston Community Teachers Association. "We need good education in order for our future leaders to run our country and to become the kind of outstanding citizens we want them to be."
The theme this year is "Celebrating the American Dream," said Mattie Trum, American Education Week public relations committee chair for the Sikeston Community Teachers Association. "We have free education here. A lot of places don't have schools, and in some countries they have to go to certain schools and study certain things. Every child has the same opportunity in our schools in America. 'No child left behind' means the teacher works hard with each child."
A variety of activities are planned for students at Sikeston schools in addition to decorating grocery bags. "All of the schools are doing their own activities," said Lowe.
Many students in the district will participate in essay contests by writing about "What I would do if I were principal," according to Trum.
Fifth grader essay winners at Morehouse Elementary, for example, "will get to spend a couple hours with Mr. Jeff Williams, our principal," Trum said.
Other activities include bringing cans to school for "I can day" and celebrating Mickey Mouse's birthday. "His birthday is always during American Education Week," Trum said.
Tuesday Morehouse Elementary students will have "mix it up at lunch' day, according to Trum, during which students will break out of their normal routine and "sit by someone new."
Parent visits are scheduled at several schools which will be decorated with exhibits of students' work.
"Southeast is having a "slogan week,'" Trum said. "First and second grades are having a coloring contest. Tuesday students will dress up as what they want to be when they grow up, and Wednesday is their favorite book day."
"They're also going to write thank you notes to someone who has made education important to them," Trum added.
On Friday, Southeast Elementary students will have "Patriotic Day" and wear red, white and blue.
As usual, teachers will be honored in several ways during American Education Week. "What would the world be like without teachers? We teach those doctors and those lawyers," said Lowe.
Prize drawings for teachers will be held every day at Sikeston schools to give away donated items like gift certificates, wreaths, saving bonds, mugs and umbrellas. "We have prizes from a lot of the businesses," Trum said. "We have a lot of businesses that have donated."
The Junior High's Beta Club will supply snacks and flowers to their teachers according to Trum, "and different clubs at the Junior High will be recognized daily by wearing their T-shirts and making announcements."
In addition to honoring teachers, "support personal are being appreciated," Trum said. "It takes more than teachers to run a school."
Staff such as secretaries, nurses, janitors, volunteer workers, cooks, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and counselors are all important to providing quality education, she said. "It takes everybody. And it takes a good administration, which we have."
Additionally, on Aug. 19 Morehouse Elementary will also honor volunteers that help their school.
"We're going to give them a certificate. We're also having a character rally at that time, and Miss Jeannie Williams is coming for a magic show," Trum said.