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American Education Week brings community together

Parents, lawmakers targeted in daily podcasts

WASHINGTON - November 16, 2009 -

The National Education Association distributed seven short podcasts today, including one in Spanish, to celebrate American Education Week. The videos include a short message from former educator Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and some quick tips for parents on parent-teacher conferences.

“The theme for this year’s American Education Week is Great Schools are a Basic Right and Our Responsibility,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “We wanted that message to ‘go viral’ and hope that in addition to learning more about their local schools, thousands of parents will also see our tips for parent-teacher conferences.”

One podcast features NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen giving parents advice on how to prepare for a parent-teacher conference by asking viewers to remember to P.A.S.S: Prepare for the meeting, Ask questions, Set expectations and Stay involved.

In the other short 60-second podcasts, math teacher and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel shares an equation for student success, NEA Executive Committee member Paula Monroe tells the story of Education Support Professional of the Year Kathie Axtell, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) reveals why it’s so important for lawmakers to stay involved with their local public schools, and NEA Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle discloses the identity of the winning celebrity chosen to step in for the teacher in NEA’s third annual Substitute Educators Day poll.

In addition to being posted on, the NEA Facebook page and the American Education Week Facebook ‘cause’ page, podcasts have been distributed to ‘Mommy Blogs’ and other media outlets.  Bloggers and other outlets can access the videos and post to their Web site by visiting [].

NEA encourages all members of the community to get involved with American Education Week by participating in a local event, volunteering in an afterschool program, attending a school activity or organizing an event. For more information about American Education Week, visit

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing
3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers  (202) 822-7823,