Student patriots recognized at ceremony

CHESTERTOWN Several years ago, the Chestertown VFW Post 5513 decided to bring the national Voice of Democracy competition to North Warren, but at that time, interest was limited to just a few students. This year, close to 90 students took part in the competition, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the school auditorium. The competition asks students in grades 6-12 to write an essay on a specific copy each year. Writers in 6-8 grade are entered into the Patriots Pen competition and 9-12 graders are writing for the Voice of Democracy. Patriots Pen writers were asked to write 300 - 400 words on Why I am an American Patriot, this year. The winner will move to the district competition, and possibly to the council, state and national competition. Our Post has been fortunate to have a strong educator/mentor in the program and have managed to field 85 submissions, said VFW member Ron Lauzon. This is probably proportionally, the highest participation in the state. The winners will be awarded U.S. Savings bonds in a range of $50 to $500. There is also the Teachers Choice and VFW Post Commanders award of $50 savings bond each for a total of six monetary awards. The Voice of Democracy is sponsored by the National Broadcasters Association in conjunction with the VFW. Students are asked to present an essay and recorded narration on this years topic, My Role in Honoring Americas Veterans. With one entry received, that student will receive a $200 savings bond and be advanced to the district level. The National Citizenship Education Teacher Award is open to deserving teachers in grades K through 12. The Posts single selection will go directly to the state level for further competition. The local selection in this program will receive a nominal professional development monetary award. The Dec. 3 awards ceremony will announce all winners and recognize all participants. This years program is definitely going to be a big affair, said. Post Commander Bill Linton. The future of our nation rests upon these young shoulders and Im quite proud of these young people. Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward will be the guest of honor at the ceremony and the VFW has invited local representatives from fire departments, EMS, law enforcement to be present and recognized.

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