ERIC Number: ED211271
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-11
Reference Count: 0
The Young Citizens League: Its Origins and Development in South Dakota to 1930. Country School Legacy: Humanities on the Frontier.
Brown, Philip L.
With the goal of improving citizenship and character education in the elementary school child through learning by doing in the form of a school-based club, the Young Citizens League (YCL) appeared in rural South Dakota early in the twentieth century, introduced by Michael M. Guhin and developed by E.C. Giffen. By 1930, at its peak, it had an estimated 75,000 members in 4,000 chapters. Following its motto "Help Uncle Sam" and through its standing committees for Information and Programs, Health and Sanitation, Physical Training, and Patriotic Aid, the YCL focused on patriotism, personal health, and doing things each day to help the country. Beginning in 1926-27, state-wide projects were recommended to local chapters and included endeavors such as beautifying school grounds; recataloging, reconditioning, and building up school libraries; music appreciation and the purchase of musical instruments; art appreciation and placing good pictures in classrooms. Beginning in 1926-27, the YCL became an official state program, supported by budget appropriations. However, most project money was raised through club efforts such as traditional box socials. Annual student speech and essay contests offered trips to county and state conventions for winners. Although officially prohibited, YCL members were often enlisted by teachers for janitorial work. (NEC)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mountain Plains Library Association, Silt, CO. Country School Legacy Project.
Identifiers: Country School Legacy Project; South Dakota; Young Citizens League
Note: For related documents, see RC 013 047-058 and RC 013 070-084. Paper presented at the Annual Dakota History Conference (13th, Madison, SD, April 11, 1981).