The Cliffwood Guadalcanal VFW Post 4745 in Aberdeen Township is welcoming local students to participate in the Patriot's Pen essay contest or the Voice of Democracy speech contest.
Last year's local winners were awarded gift certificates to Barnes and Noble. The national winner of the Patriot's Pen was awarded a $5,000 scholarship and the national winner of the Voice of Democracy was awarded a $30,000 scholarship.
According to the National VFW website, the Patriot's Pen Program is open to students in grades 6-8 who attend school or are home schooled in America or American territories. Local entrants must be residents of Matawan or Aberdeen, although they do not need to attend public schools in the district. Students may have a guide through their essay writing, such as a teacher or guidance counselor.
Middle school students entering the Patriot Pen contest are challenged with answering the question, "What would you tell the Founding Fathers?" using their own experiences.
The essay must be at least 300 words but no more than 400 words and must focus on the year's theme. Judging criteria, the website explains, is based on three categories - knowledge of the theme, theme development and clarity of ideas.
The Voice of Democracy program is designed for students in grades 9-12 who attend school or are home schooled in America or American territories, according to the National VFW website. Local entrants must be residents of Matawan or Aberdeen, although they do not need to attend public schools in the district.
The high school students entering the Voice of Democracy contest are challenged with answering, "Is our constitution still relevant today?" in the form of a speech.
Judging criteria is based on originality, content and delivery.
Want to participate in either program? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be submitted by Nov. 1, 2012.