Constitution contests

Craig VFW offers scholarship opportunities

At a glance …

• Two contests currently are being offered to Moffat County students.

• The Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest is open to seventh and eighth grade students and requires participants to write an essay about what they would tell America's founding fathers.

• The Voice of Democracy contest is open to all current high school students and requires students to type a script about whether or not they think the constitution is still relevant today and then record it on a three to five minute CD.

• Participants in both contests must also include a completed and legible entry form.

• Entries are due no later than Nov. 1.

• For more information, contact Johnny Garcia at (970) 629-3345.

Moffat County students will have an opportunity to win scholarship money while expressing their thoughts about America's founding by participating in programs offered by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265.

There are two contests, one for middle school students and one for high school, and both focus on the Constitution and its role in America today.

The Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest is open to sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Students must write a 300-400 word essay, with no graphics, about what they would tell America's founding fathers, and must also include a completed and legible entry form.

The Voice of Democracy contest is open to all current high school students, who must type a script about whether or not they think the constitution is still relevant today and then record it on a three to five minute CD.

They must also include a completed and legible entry form.

Johnny Garcia, chairman for the scholarship program in Craig, said there usually is not much student participation, receiving only five essays last year and no entries for the Voice of Democracy contest.

“I don’t know why student’s wouldn’t do this. Along with a chance to win money and scholarships, it gives these kids a chance to open their minds,” Garcia said.

Garcia said it is important for youth to know about the VFW, and not see it as just a bunch of old men who get together.

“Our motto is ‘Help the dead by helping the living,’"Garcia said. "There are a lot of soldiers out there that have given their life for this country. It’s important that starting at a young age students learn in school, through reading and asking questions, what those freedoms are that soldiers died fighting for.”

Students should turn completed essays and CDs into their teachers and school offices. Garcia said he would pick up entries from the schools Nov. 1, or earlier if there are completed entries.

Interpretation of the questions is up to students and they won’t be disqualified for their opinion, Garcia said.

All entries are due by midnight, November 1st.

The local post will judge entries and send selected essays and CDs on to the District competition in Denver, where they will be judged and winners will go on to Nationals in Washington, D.C.

Garcia said all expenses for the trip to D.C. are covered.

The first place winner for the Patriot’s Pen Essay will receive $10,000 and first place for the Voice of Democracy contest will garner a $30,000 scholarship.

For more information, contact Johnny Garcia at (970) 629-3345, District Commander Mark Wick at (970) 326-6998 or Jim Meineke at (970) 824-5098.

To download student entry forms, judging sheets and other information, visit www.vfw.org.

Darian can be reached at 875-1793 or Dwarden@craigdailypress.com.

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