Chairman: John Schenk (327)
“I LIKE LIVING IN AMERICA BECAUSE”
Open to all accredited Middle School Students at participating schools, Public, Private, or Parochial within the sponsoring jurisdiction of established American Legion Posts in the Department of Virginia. Home schooled children are eligible to compete provided the Division Superintendent, his/her assistant or other designated person of the public school system certify on the attached Declaration Form, the students grade level and their adherences to contest rules. It shall be the responsibility of the home schooler’s parents to contact the sponsoring American Legion Post and have above certifications completed.
- Each essay MUST start out with the phrase: “I like living in America because…”
Each essay is to be hand written on the front side of one 8 1/2” X 11” page of lined notebook paper. Typed or computer generated essays WILL BE considered for students with disabilities meeting the following requirements:
The digital essay must be under 160 words.
- The teacher of the student must certify that the essay received was the work of the student author.
- The essay is to be written by the competing Middle School Student at their desk in school (during structured class time if home schooled), not at home.
- Middle School – The competing schools Language Arts/English/Civics department will judge each entry on originality, sincerity and the student’s ability to convey thought. The Language Arts/English/Civics department may add such additional criteria as composition, spelling, and proper punctuation. ONLY ONE essay should be forwarded to the sponsoring Post.
- Post Level – The winning essay from each Middle School will be mailed to the sponsoring American Legion Post contest Chairman (his/her name and address appear on the attached Declaration Form). It is suggested that each Post’s Executive Board/Committee or contest Chairman, with a committee of at least three judges, select the best essay. ONLY ONE essay should be forwarded to the District.
- District Level – It is suggested that each District will convene a panel of at least three judges, chaired by their District’s Americanism or Essay Contest Chairman to select the best essay. ONLY ONE essay should be submitted per District.
- Department Level – the Department Americanism Chairman will convene a panel of judges consisting of members of the Americanism Committee and/or other professionals, who will make the final selections.
- Time Line:
- Middle School/Home School – Each participating Middle School/Home School should mail their winning essay and declaration form to the Post Level Chairman whose name appears on the form no later than the last day of the Middle School’s classes prior to Christmas Vacation on December 21, 2023.
- Posts – Each participating Post will judge and mail their winning essay to the District Americanism Chairman or Middle School Essay Contest Chairman to arrive prior to their District’s Spring Conference on February 11, 2024.
- Districts – Each participating District will mail their winning essay with attached Declaration Form to: Americanism Committee Chairman, John Schenk, 406 E. Randall Ave, Norfolk, VA. 23503, to arrive no later than February 20, 2024. Winners will be announced at the Department Spring Conference on March 1, 2024.
- Post Level:
- Each Middle School Language Arts/English/Civics Department which sends a winning essay to you receives an American Legion “Certificate of Participation” signed by the Post Commander and the Post’s Essay Chairman and a $50.00 check for the school’s use.
- Each winning essay student at the Post Level is presented with an American Legion “Certificate of Appreciation” signed by the Post Commander and the Post’s Essay Chairman and a $50.00 check.
- The winning essay student’s teacher receives a check from your post in the amount of $25.00 to be used to assist in his/her purchase of classroom materials.
- District Level:
- The winning essay student from your District receives an American Legion “Certificate of Appreciation” signed by your District Commander and District Americanism Chairman or Essay Contest Chairman.
- The winning essay student receives a $50.00 check.
- The winning essay student’s Language Arts/English/Civics teacher receives a $50.00 check to go toward assisting in purchasing supplies and materials for their school’s department.
- Department Level:
- The First Place Winner will receive a $250.00 check.
- The Second Place Winner will receive a $100.00 check.
- The Third Place Winner will receive a $50.00 check.
- A $50.00 check to winning essay student’s teacher to be used to assist in his/her purchase of classroom materials.
- Post Level: