Windthorst, Texas, September 11, 2018 – Commander Bert Hoff of the Scotland-Windthorst Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2676 and its Auxiliary announced the kick-off of this year’s VFW Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen Scholarship competitions and the Citizenship Teacher of the year award

In the Voice of Democracy competition high school students (grades 9-12) must write and record a three-to-five-minute essay on the selected theme using an audio CD or flash drive and present their recording, typed essay and completed entry form to their local VFW post. The 2018-19 theme is “Why My Vote Matters.” Students begin by competing at the local Post level with an entry deadline of October 31. The Post 2676 local winners will earn scholarship money in the amounts of $300 for 1st Place; $150 for 2d Place and $75 for 3rd Place. The Post winner then competes at the District level with the winner advancing to the state competition.

State winners receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., March 2-6, 2019, to tour the city, be honored by the VFW and its Auxiliary and receive their portion of $154,000 in national awards, the top scholarship being $30,000.

The Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition is for students in grades 6-8. This competition is designed to give students an opportunity to write a 300 to 400 word essay expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. The theme for the 2018-19 competition is “Why I Honor the American Flag.” The deadline for entry to their local Post 2676 is October 31.

Students begin by competing at the local Post 2676 level where they can earn scholarship money in the amounts of $150 for 1st Place, $75 for 2d and $50 for 3rd. Post winners advance to District competition with District winners advancing to the state competition. State first-place winners compete for their share of thousands of dollars in awards, and the national first-place winner is awarded $5000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. for the winner and a parent or guardian.

The Citizenship Teacher of the Year Award recognizes top classroom elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America’s history and traditions effectively. Post 2676 will select from the nominees one teacher in each category who will be awarded $100 each. Post winners will advance to District competition with the chance of earning state and national awards.

All local high school and junior high school students should see their principals or counselors for Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen information and entry forms. Students and teachers can contact the VFW Post 2676 Voice of Democracy/Patriot’s Pen/Teacher of the Year Chairman at 940-636-1566 or email the Post at dateichman@gmail.com for more information.

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