American Education Week will kick off Sunday.

The awareness campaign was founded by the National Education Association (NEA). According to the NEA Web site, the campaign calls upon all Americans to "do their part in making public schools great for every child so that they can grow and achieve in the 21st century."

"American Education Week allows us all to understand the many benefits public schools provide our communities," said Christine Matta, of the Huntington Learning Center in New Milford, "and honor educators who ensure that our children receive quality education."

Ms. Matta has provided the following advice for local parents on how they can be more active in the New Milford public school system:

-Join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA): Participation in organizations like the PTA allows parents to offer hands-on support for schools and teachers.

-Understand communication is key: It is important parents contact teachers regarding anything that seems out of the ordinary with children's education, such as complaints about incomplete homework or worsening grades that appear on their child's report card. This keeps teachers on their toes and builds a parent-teacher relationship, which is vital as children continue their school education.

-Attend school board meetings: Not only will parents know what's going on in their children's classrooms by attending school board meetings, they will be aware of budgets cuts for classes and new equipment available at the school.

-Show support for teachers: Whether it is thank-you notes for helping children achieve better grades, small thank-you gifts for the holidays, or simple phone calls to teachers to let them know they're appreciated, it is important to show support for teachers.

For information, call the Huntington Learning Center in New Milford at 860-355-2200.