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American Education Week ends with Wimpy Kid Day!

AEW: Substitute Educators Day: NEA Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" author Jeff Kinney, and two smiling students at Key Elementary in Arlington, Va.  Photo Credit: Sewell Johnson

“We have a treat for you!” promised NEA Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss to the students of Francis Scott Key Elementary in Arlington, Va., on Friday morning, the last day of American Education Week.

 “Is it candy?” whispered one boy.

Better than candy, and healthier too… It was Jeff Kinney, the popular author and illustrator of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and eight additional books, who joined Moss and VEA President Meg Gruber at Key Elementary on Friday.

Kinney told a rapt audience, all dressed in white shirts and black pants like his undersized “weakling” main character, about his writing career. He had hoped originally to be a syndicated newspaper cartoonist, like the guys who wrote Calvin and Hobbes or The Far Side, but his own strip was rejected and rejected again.

When he turned to book writing instead, it took Kinney four years to get his ideas onto paper, and four more years to turn them into an actual book. “I’m not the most talented illustrator or the most talented writer, but I was very persistent,” he said. His newest book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, was published earlier this month.

Each day of American Education Week has its own theme and, in addition to it being Wimpy Kid Day at Key Elementary, it was “Substitute Educators Day” across the nation — a day to honor the vital importance of substitute educators who often work without the respect, professional development, and wage and health benefits that they so deserve.

NEA has honored substitute educators with their own day since the NEA Representative Assembly created Substitute Educators Day in 2003. NEA also is an original founder of American Education Week, which was jointly created by NEA and the American Legion in 1921. Since then, additional sponsors, including the U.S. Department of Education and the National PTA, have joined on.

This year, from Texas to Pennsylvania to Utah, NEA-sponsored events have celebrated the American Education Week mission of honoring students’ hard work to learn, recognizing the professionalism and dedication of teachers and education support professionals, thanking parents and community members who help students succeed, and rededicating the community to quality public education for every student.

At Key Elementary on Friday, Princess Moss, a former music teacher from Louisa County, Va., and VEA President Meg Gruber, an earth science teacher from Prince William County, Va., also served as substitute educators.

Substitue Educators Day in Pictures


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Now through the end of the year, Chevrolet proudly offers special pricing for educators. Visit or visit your local Chevy dealer as we celebrate those who shape the minds of every generation.