National Slavery & Human Trafficking Awareness Month
January 20: MLK Day and the Day of Service
Signed into law in January 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday is a celebration of Dr. King’s contribution to the United States and to humankind. This American federal holiday is observed on the third Monday of each January, which is near King’s birthday, January 15, 1929.
Literacy Week: January 25 - January 29, 2021
The goal of this year’s Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! is to promote literacy and excellent reading habits in the students of Florida.
Black History Month
Black History Month is officially celebrated in the month of February. However, throughout history, in every month, generations of African Americans struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. The credible resources on this page will help teachers and students learn more about this rich history. Decades of not treating people with equality and respect spawned the civil rights movement. The Civil War ended in 1865. Yet it took black Americans many decades and a long difficult fight to get what Abraham Lincoln had intended them to have: equality. Learn more with the informational texts referenced.
Teen Dating Violence Month
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, which is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it. According to the website love is respect, “Every February, young people and their loved ones join together across the country for a national effort to raise awareness about the issue of teen dating violence through Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. This annual, month-long push focuses on advocacy and education to stop dating abuse before it starts. The theme for TDVAM 2021 is Know Your Worth. Know Your Worth is all about learning about healthy relationships and self-empowerment! Every young person is deserving of a healthy, loving relationship. Key dates are as follows: Respect Week begins February 8.
Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. “Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called ‘Washington’s Birthday’ by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.” Although some states honor the birthday of Lincoln, it was never a federal holiday. (Sources: The History Channel and Encyclopedia Britannica)
National Nutrition Month
National Nutrition Month® is a campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.” The 2020 theme is “Eat Right Bite by Bite.
Newspaper in Education Week
Newspaper in Education Week is commemorated and celebrated annually during the first full school week in March. Newspaper in Education (NIE) is an international program that encourages the use of the daily newspaper as a “living textbook” for students from primary through adult education levels. The Tampa Bay Times is pleased to commemorate Newspaper in Education Week 2021 and encourage students to read the newspaper daily in school and at home to enhance and enrich their lives.
Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society. Women’s History Month began as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week." Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as "Women’s History Week." In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month." Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996. Each year the month of April is set aside as National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poets and their craft. Various events are held throughout the month by the Academy of American Poets and other poetry organizations.
Read all about it: Front Page Breaking News!
Financial Literacy Month
The Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education at the University of South Florida created resources aligned to the Florida Financial Literacy Standards: Financial Investing, Saving, Using Credit, Earning Income, Protecting and Insuring, and Understand the fundamental concepts relevant to the institutions, structure, and functions of a national economy. Click here for the online materials.
In a partnership the Tampa Bay Times NIE and the Florida Press Educational Services, the Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education at the University of South Florida created a blog that includes lesson ideas that use news texts (articles, videos, cartoons, images). CLICK ON the images below to access the texts and standards-based questions. (For more, check out the archives on the right side of the page).
Alcohol Awareness Month
Since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month to “increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.” This year’s theme is Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage’.
Holocaust Remembrance Week
The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. On April 19, 1943, the Warsaw ghetto uprising began after German troops and police entered the ghetto to deport its surviving inhabitants. By May 16, 1943, the Germans had crushed the uprising and left the ghetto area in ruins. Surviving ghetto residents were deported to concentration camps or killing centers.
According to the Earth Day Network, “Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis — oil spills, smog, rivers so polluted they literally caught fire. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet.” The 2021 theme for Earth Day is Restore Our Earth. EARTHDAY.ORG along with lead organizers Education International, Hip Hop Caucus, and Earth Uprising are organizing three separate parallel climate action summits on April 20 and 21 ahead of the Biden Administration’s global leaders’ climate summit.
Law Day 2021
Law Day is May 1. The 2021 Law Day theme is Advancing the Rule of Law Now. The American Bar Association notes, “The rule of law is the bedrock of American rights and liberties—in times of calm and unrest alike. The 2021 Law Day theme—Advancing the Rule of Law, Now—reminds all of us that we the people share the responsibility to promote the rule of law, defend liberty, and pursue justice."
Law Day 2020 – Your Vote • Your Voice • Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100
Law Day is an annual celebration of the rule of law in a free society. The Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government notes, “Throughout May, the legal community reaches out in communities across the nation to simulate appreciation and critical thinking about the founding fundamentals that are so easily taken for granted.” Law Day 2020 celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. “The women’s suffrage movement forever changed America, expanding representative democracy and inspiring other popular movements for constitutional change and reform. Yet, honest reflection on the suffrage movement reveals complexity and tensions over race and class that remain part of the ongoing story of the Nineteenth Amendment and its legacies,” notes the American Bar Association.
Law Day 2019 – Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society
Law Day is an annual celebration of the rule of law in a free society. The Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government notes, “Throughout May, the legal community reaches out in communities across the nation to simulate appreciation and critical thinking about the founding fundamentals that are so easily taken for granted.
“Since 1958, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the first Law Day, Americans have taken the opportunity to recommit themselves to remaining a nation of laws. The observance became official in 1961, when Congress issued a joint resolution designating May 1 as Law Day. This year is the 50th anniversary of Tinker v. Des Moines and a time to revisit landmark Supreme Court cases that changed student free speech and free expression rights at school.”
American Founders’ Month, Constitution Day and Celebrate Freedom Week
Florida observes American Founders’ Month, Constitution Day (Sept.17) and Celebrate Freedom Week (Sept. 21-25). Section (s.) 683.1455, Florida Statutes (F.S.), designates the month of September as American Founders’ Month and s. 1003.421, F.S., recognizes the last full week of classes in September in public schools as Celebrate Freedom Week. During American Founders’ Month various groups, including public and private educational institutions, are urged to recognize and observe this occasion through appropriate programs, meetings, services or celebrations in which state, county and local governmental officials are invited to participate. Public schools are encouraged to coordinate instruction at all grade levels related to the nation’s founding principles of our nation.
Tampa Bay Times NIE publication: Celebrate Freedom
Center for Civic Education publication: We the People
Tampa Bay Times NIE publication: It’s All About the Benjamins
NIE publication: Time Stone Series of American Heroes Benjamin Franklin & Teacher Guide
Archives of Project Gutenberg: Original text of the Federalist Papers
National Archives: Correspondence and Other Writings of Six Major Shapers of the United States
National Archives: Lesson Plans: Teaching Six Big Ideas in the Constitution
Library of Congress: The American Founders Online: An Annotated Guide to Their Papers and Publications
PBS Learning Media: Alexander Hamilton | Lawyer, Writer, and Founding Father
PBS Learning Media: Benjamin Franklin | Writer, Inventor, and Founding Father
History Channel: Constitution Day Lesson
NEA: Constitution Day, Grades 6-8
PBS News Hour: News for Students and Teacher Resources 7–12 Grade Level Founding Fathers
Learn more about the Founding Fathers:
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Childhood Obesity Is a Major Public Health Problem:
National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15)
Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12. The National Hispanic Heritage Month theme for 2020 is A History of Serving our Nation.
National Newspaper Week
Observance of National Newspaper Week will be take place Oct. 4-10. This 80th annual National Newspaper Week is a recognition of the service of newspapers and their employees across North American and is sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers, the consortium of North American trade associations representing the industry on a state and provincial, regional and national basis.
Substance Abuse Prevention Month
October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, an annual observance focused on raising the public awareness and encouraging communities to take action and get involved to prevent substance use. Each year families, communities, and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and the importance of investing in prevention.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second-most common kind of cancer in American women. About one in eight women born today in the United States will get breast cancer.
Civic Education and Election Day
According to the Louis Frey Institute, research shows when students engage in simulated civic actions, they are prone to develop a positive political efficacy that contributes to lifelong engagement. Discussing Election Day is a perfect time to engage students in civic education. In addition, the local newspaper is a great teaching tool to engage your students in civics education. Engaged citizens participate in their communities by voting and practicing good citizenship.
Veterans Day Resources
National Native American Heritage Month
America Recycles Day – Nov. 15
America Recycles Day is November 15. Learn about the many recycling facilities, programs and events available to Tampa Bay residents with these NIE publications.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, a U.S. naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii, “was the scene of a devastating surprise attack by Japanese forces. Just before 8 a.m. on that Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on the base, where they managed to destroy or damage nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan,” posted on the History Channel.
World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day takes place on December 1 each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
Lessons & Classroom Activities
Resources by grade level