American Education Week Salutes Public Schools
NEA President Lily Eskelsen García attends Mrs. Wesby’s 1st grade class at Shwab Elementary School in Nashville, Tenn., on November 17, 2104
Happy American Education Week!
This year’s theme is “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility” and “presents all Americans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.”
How it began:
Alarmed that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate, representatives of the National Education Association and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education and in 1921 American Education Week was born.
The folks at Harvard are celebrating by featuring a slideshow of the reading textbook, also known as a reader. These are “compilations of fiction and/or nonfiction, and have been authored and printed in the US for centuries,” these books provide us a glimpse of the “ongoing development of readers, their authors and reading education from the late 18th to the first decades of the early 20th century.”
Excerpt of the George MacDonald poem “Wind and Moon” from the revised 1919 edition of the fourth grade reader , part of the Aldine Readers series by Frank E. Spaulding and Catherine T. Bryce
From Lewis Baxter Monroe’s Chart Primer or First Steps in Reading, published in 1877
From Samuel Worcester’s Primer of English Language was published in Boston in 1826
For more visit the Harvard Library digital collection Reading: Harvard Views of Readers, Readership and Reading History.
Now get out there and hug a teacher today!