SIKESTON - From the Pledge of Allegiance in first
grade to mock presidential elections for seniors in
high school, public schools teach us what it is to be
an American in addition to "reading, writing and
The week before Thanksgiving has long been celebrated
by communities across the country as American
Education Week - a special time to honor the teachers
and school staff who educate the nation's 53 million
school children every day.
American Education Week runs through Saturday.
"In Sikeston when this week occurs we like to do as
many things as we can to take note of the week," said
Rise' Howard, art teacher at Sikeston Junior High and
co-chair of the public relations committee for the
Sikeston Community Teachers Association. "Each school
chooses how they recognize the week with a variety of
At Matthew Elementary in Sikeston, students are
treated to guest readers during library class, make
posters in art classes and write "favorite teacher"
"Mrs. Hunter is my favorite teacher. She is nice and
fun. She teaches P.E. and Library. She must be very
busy and a very hard worker. She must really like kids
a lot to teach that much," wrote Cassie Owens.
Caleb Pruitt wrote: "My favorite teacher was Mrs.
Branch. Mrs. Branch did not yell a lot. She was the
best first grade teacher."
Jenny Hobeck, president of the Sikeston Community
Teachers Association, said kindergarten students
decorated grocery sacks which are being used at Stan's
Food Market this week. Other area merchants are
displaying artwork from the kindergarten and Sikeston
elementary schools as well.
"At the Junior High we are responsible for a public
service announcement on the local radio station," said
This year's theme, "Together: Making public schools
great for every child," reflects the idea that quality
education requires a partnership between school staff,
parents and students. "We are all working together for
this goal," said Howard.
The theme also draws attention to the role everyone
has to play in making public schools great - parents,
neighbors, businesses and governments as well as
teachers, principals, bus drivers and the other school
Wednesday is designated "Educational Support
Professional Day" to salute the important role played
by school support staff.
"No matter what their job at school - whether it's
teaching math or typing attendance reports - school
professionals impart lessons about respect, diversity
and responsibility," said Bob Chase, National
Education Association president. "These ideals will
help students throughout life."
This year's observance also highlights the critical
role public schools play in passing on America's
ideals. It is in the classroom more than any other
place, according to the National Education
Association, that generations of native-born and
immigrant students are taught to understand and
respect American values.
American Education Week was established in 1921 by the
National Education Association and the American Legion
to highlight the importance of education after it was
discovered that a quarter of the nation's World War I
draftees were illiterate.
American Education week has grown since its inception
and today includes the 12 leading national education
organizations such as the PTA and groups representing
principals, school boards and administrators.