Before the school year draws to a close and summer vacation takes over, it’s time to say thanks to America’s teachers. Today is the kickoff of PTA Teacher Appreciation Week. National Teacher Day is recognized tomorrow. The goal of both is to honor the dedication and valuable contributions teachers make to the rest of their students’ lives. The idea goes back to 1944, when Mattye Woodridge of Arkansas began lobbying for a day to honor teachers. With the help of Eleanor Roosevelt, the first National Teacher Day was held in 1953. Now, there are more than 58 million students enrolled in kindergarten and nursery schools up through high schools across the country, guided by more than 3.1 million teachers. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at <www.census.gov>.