THROWBACK THURSDAY: ‘Callum gains national fame by winning Valley Forge Pilgrimage Award

Civics teacher entered Mac in Freedom Foundation contest by submitting “McCallum’s American Way” notebook

A+hat+is+acquired+during+the+Boy+Scouts+100th+annual+pilgrimage+to+Valley+Forge.+Sixty+years+ago%2C+an+unnamed+student+and+teacher+participated+in+a+similar+event.+Photo+accessed+on+the+Valley+Forge+National+Hist.+Park+Flickr+page.+Reposted+here+under+a+creative+commons+license.

Valley Forge National Hist. Park Flickr page

A hat is acquired during the Boy Scouts’ 100th annual pilgrimage to Valley Forge. Sixty years ago, an unnamed student and teacher participated in a similar event. Photo accessed on the Valley Forge National Hist. Park Flickr page. Reposted here under a creative commons license.

Shield staff reports

The National Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge has named McCallum’s program for patriotism and citizenship as among the tops in the nation by awarding the school the Valley Forge Pilgrimage Award.

Announced annually on Washington’s birthday, the honor is the highest of many conferred by the foundation. It is given for “outstanding achievement in helping to bring about a better understanding of the American Way of Life.”

The award provides for all-expense-paid trips to Valley Forge for a McCallum student and a teacher. In addition the school will receive a George Washington medal.

I felt that McCallum was doing an excellent job of fulfilling the real purpose of public schools- to train citizens capable of participating effectively in our democracy.”

— Jim Collins

On being officially notified of the distinction, on Feb. 25, Principal N. H. Wittner made this comment:

“This award exemplifies national fame and certainly we are all most proud of it. Throughout the nation, this award is one which is cherished among school people.”

Jim Collins, civics teacher, entered McCallum in the competition for the Freedom Foundation prizes. In November he compiled and mailed in a notebook entitled “McCallum’s American Way.” This volume included an explanation of every phase of the school’s program for patriotism and citizenship.

Said Mr. Collins, “I felt that McCallum was doing an excellent job of fulfilling the real purpose of public schools- to train citizens capable of participating effectively in our democracy. I am overjoyed that the Freedom Foundation has chosen to recognize the school with this award.”

Included in McCallum’s entry in the contest were the Pledge of Allegiance and flag raising ceremonies and the school’s fight for the preservation of the Texas Archives. Scripts for a month of devotional programs were also entered.

McCallum’s annual community project, the Education Fair, and plans for the American History pageant, to be presented this spring, were also included.

This story was originally published in The Shield on March 1, 1957.