Fort Crook Masonic Lodge presented teachers and staff certificates of appreciation for their work educating our students during Public Schools Month as proclaimed by the Grand Master of Masons in California. This was done at assemblies in Big Valley High and Elementary, Fall River High and Elementary, Burney High and Elementary and Montgomery Creek Elementary.
Category Archives: Fort Crook Masonic Lodge
Once again, Fort Crook Lodge 250 F&AM carried on their tradition of providing backpacks to second graders in the Intermountain area. This year the Lodge is giving out backpacks filled with school supplies to 49 students at Burney Elementary, 33 students in Fall River, 8 students in Big Valley and 12 students in Montgomery Creek.
On Tuesday, September 25, Mason Jim Crockett delivered the packs to second graders at Burney Elementary School.
Teachers Michael Von Schalscha and Joy Ford lead their students into the cafeteria and introduced Mr. Crockett who then gave a short talk.
Crockett asked the students if they knew what country they live in.
“The United States of America!” The children shouted in reply.
When he asked if they knew who the first president was, they raised their hands and answered, “George Washington.”
Crockett told them that George Washington was a brother Mason. He also told them that another Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, who aided in the discovery of electricity was a Mason.
Mr. Von Schalscha told the students that they would learn more about Ben Franklin later in the year.
Crockett explained that the Masons had long been supporters of public education in California and that is why they give out the backpacks each year.
A lot of students raised their hands to ask questions. Some wanted to know what was in the backpacks. Each pack contained a pencil, a notebook, an eraser, crayons, and a ruler.
After the talk, the children lined up and each child was presented with a backpack by Mr. Crockett.
As part of the Masons long-time effort to support public education, Grand Master Jim Crockett and Mason George Whitfield from Fort Crook Masonic Lodge #250 presented a plaque to Principal Ray Guerrero at a student assembly at Burney Junior-Senior High School.
Jim Crockett said, “Fort Crook Masonic Lodge #250 in Fall River Mills has for years supported the schools in the Intermountain Area. This year we are presenting plaques to the Staff and teachers of Fall River, Burney and Big Valley schools in recognition of their efforts and achievements furthering the education of the students.”
The plaque says, “We hereby proclaim our sincere thanks to the teachers and staff of Burney Junior Senior High School and extend our congratulations for their provision of outstanding academic instruction, leading in turn to exemplary achievement by all enrolled students.”
Bruce R. Galloway, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of California proclaimed April Public Education Month for 2018. On April 1, the California Department of Education also issued a statement encouraging people to recognize April as Public Education Month.
Before presenting the plaque to Principal Guerrero, Crockett gave a brief history of Masonic support for public education.
In his talk he said,
Because Freemasonry places such great importance on education, we have become steadfast supporters of the Public Schools. Horace Mann, the father of our present system of public schools, wrote that the object of a free public schools system is “to give every child a free, straight, solid pathway by which he can walk directly up from the ignorance of an infant to a knowledge of the primary duties of a man.”
The California State public school system was started in the 1850’s, and the first State Superintendent of Public Instruction was John Swett, a transplanted Mason who had come west in the years following the Gold Rush.
The public schools have always been a special concern of California Masons. Charles Albert Adams, Grand Master in 1920, wrote that as Masons “we subscribe to the belief that an enlightened citizenship is the first great care of a progressive State:’ He believed that the future of our free democracy depended on the quality of our public schools.