An annual holiday recognizing the essential role of education and sharing in our society.
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter wrote, “Congress of the United States concluded its deliberations on a joint resolution which recognized the need for this Nation to set aside a special day devoted to recognizing the importance of education in the lives of our citizens…. I am honored to join with the House of Representatives and the Senate in recognizing this need and privileged to comply with their request.”
Heed the call made annually by every U.S. President since, calling upon “all Americans to observe that day in such manner as reflects their commitment to education and their recognition of its importance to the welfare of this Nation.” In one such proclamation, President George W. Bush explained, “On Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., we renew our commitment to providing quality education and to teaching our children the values of kindness and sharing that prepare them for lives as good neighbors and citizens.” President Barack Obama expressed a similar sentiment in a proclamation he issued for the day, “We also know that learning does not stop when students leave the classroom. Whether at the dinner table or on the field, it is our task as parents, teachers, and mentors to make sure our children grow up practicing the values we preach. We have an obligation to instill in them the virtues that define our national character — honesty and independence, drive and discipline, courage and compassion.”
Education and Sharing Day day honors Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902 – 1994), an activist awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his enduring contributions toward world education. His efforts underscore the importance of a quality education that encourages a spirit of loving kindness and generosity in building a better future together. That is why it is proclaimed by the President of the United States every year on the anniversary of Rabbi Schneerson’s birthday on the Hebrew calendar, which falls out on different days of the civil calendar each year.
The important role of education, especially as it promotes the charitable nature of future generations, is sorely undervalued in society. Sports players get paid more than teachers. It is important to set aside a day to emphasize the important role that quality education for all plays in securing a better future together as a society.
- Thank a teacher.
- Demonstrate that you have learned the important lesson of sharing in your own life. Donate a book to a free library, volunteer at a soup kitchen, give blood, or donate to a food shelf. Schedule a collection drive to collect school supplies and clothing (especially winter coats) for schools to provide to students that can’t afford them.
- Share stories about teachers who had a positive impact in your life.