HARLINGEN — Hats off to Texas Public Schools.

That’s how Xavier Martinez, 11, and his fellow classmates at Bowie Elementary are celebrating Texas Public Schools Week today, wearing their favorite hat.

“It’s important to celebrate it because you want to have a good education in the future to help you have a good life,” said Xavier, a fifth grader.

Schools throughout Texas are celebrating the observance organized by the Texas School Public Relations Association. The TSPRA website says “A free and public education is a constitutional right for the children of Texas.”

This year’s theme for the event is “Texas Schools: The Clear Choice for Education.”

Each school in the Harlingen district is celebrating the event in its own way.

While Bowie’s students are wearing their favorite hats, children at Crockett Elementary are wearing boots and jeans for Western Day. Coakley Middle School students are wearing red, white and blue.

“We always have a host campus every year to kick off Texas Public Schools Week,” said Shane Strubhart, spokesperson for the district.

“This year it was Stuart Place Elementary that hosted the kickoff,” he added. “Stuart Place Elementary brought four current seniors from the four high schools to speak at the event. They spoke about choices and opportunities that are offered in HCISD.”

Strubhart emphasized the importance of celebrating public schools in Texas.

“It’s important because over five million students in the state of Texas are educated in Texas Public Schools,” he said. “It’s important that we support Texas public schools. Your choice should be Texas public schools.”

At Bowie Elementary, teachers, administrators and students are tying literacy, science and other subjects into their observance of Texas Public Schools Week.

“Friday we are integrating it into Read Across America,” said Principal Adriana Arellano.

Schools throughout the district on Friday will invite volunteers to read to children.

“That’s actually Dr. Seuss’s birthday,” she said. “We’ll celebrate reading.”

Fresh vegetables from the school’s garden lay on a counter, and copies of the book “The Enormous Turnip” were spread across a table. The gardening project is used to enhance classroom learning in the sciences as well as accommodate reading, said Sylvia Rendon, instructional coach.

“They get to take their learning outside of class,” she said. “They make the science and literacy connections.”

Lily Faires, 10, spoke excitedly about the ongoing gardening project, examples of opportunities offered in Texas public schools.

“I think it’s great and I think everything we grow is really good,” she said. “We eat what we grow, tomatoes, green beans.”

Yesterday many of her classmates wore jerseys from their favorite teams.

“I don’t have a team jersey,” she said. She was looking forward to hat day as a way to celebrate public schools.

Texas public school observances today

Austin Elementary

“Partner Up and Read Day!” Students and staff are wearing sweatpants, camp clothes and other “comfy” clothes. Students may bring in blankets or sleeping bags.

Bonham Elementary

Wear your favorite college colors

Lee Means Elementary

Students are wearing camouflage clothing as they “hunt” for their clear choice in public schools.

Vernon Middle School

Parent Breakfast in the cafeteria

Harlingen School of Health Professions

Career Day! Get your scrubs on and celebrate your HCISD school of choice.