Awards and prizes await winners in the VFW National Patriot’s Pen program. The contest, open to 6th-8th grade students, gives youngsters the chance to express their opinion on a patriotic theme as well as improve their writing skills.
“There is a real opportunity here for kids,” said Post 3962 Men’s Auxiliary President Tom Chartres. “We are hoping for a good turnout and would love for someone to advance on to the state and national level.”
The contest consists of four levels. The first level is sponsored by local VFW Posts. Post winners advance to the VFW District (regional) level where the one first-place winner advances to the VFW Department (state) level. The one first-place winner at the Department level is then advances to the VFW National competition. The winner from each Department (state) then competes for the national prizes.
The first place winner at the national level will receive a $10,000 savings bond. Thirty-one winners will be awarded savings bonds during the VFW/Ladies Auxiliary Community Service Conference in Washington, D.C. in March.
“Kids need to participate in this,” said Chartres. “This should be right up the alley for some students at our local schools.”
All essays should be typewritten in English with no color or graphics and cannot be less than 300 words or greater then 400 words in length. The theme is “What Patriotism Means to Me” this year.
All entries must be submitted to VFW Post Quartermaster Tom Reinke by midnight on Nov. 1. Each winner in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade will receive a $100 from Post 3962. Only entries from Alcorn and Tishomingo counties are eligible for the Post 3962 contest.
Contestants must not identify themselves, their school, city or state in their essay. Names need not be on the essay. The entry form will serve as cover sheet.
The essay must be a contestant’s original work and a product of their own thinking. The approach to the Patriot’s Pen theme should be positive and clearly focused. Poetry is not acceptable.
The Ladies Auxiliary is spearheading the local competition and will have a representative available at the Post each Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
For more information contact the Post at 287-6106 or Ladies Auxiliary President Edie Simpson at 662-423-6532.