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Show your patriotism in a national essay contest

| September 7, 2016

COSHOCTON – The Patriot’s Pen and the Voice of Democracy essay contest deadline is approaching on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Now is the time to find out about this opportunity to not only write about your patriotism for America, but to have the opportunity to earn scholarships for college.

Both contests are nationally recognized through the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and different themes for each contest are announced each year.

The Patriot’s Pen is open to students in sixth through eighth grades with the 2016 theme of “The America I Believe In”. More than 120,000 students nationwide participated in the contest last year and a student in Columbus received third place nationally, winning $3,500.

“I would like to get the schools more involved in this,” said Lewis Kilchenman of the local VFW Post 1330. “It’s something that most schools don’t know about, but it benefits the kids.”

Participants must submit an essay of 300 to 400 words in length. Those below 300 or above 400 words will be eliminated. All essays should be typed in English with no graphics or color. Students must not identify themselves or their city, state, school, race, or national origin in the essay. Participants will be judged on knowledge of the theme, theme development, and clarity, and the work submitted must be original.

The Voice of Democracy contest is for students in grades nine through 12. This year’s theme is “My Responsibility to America” and prizes and scholarships can be awarded at local, regional, state, and national levels. State winners receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C.

Participants must present a type-written document and a three to five minute speech on a CD or flash drive of your essay. Students must not identify themselves or their city, state, school, race, or national origin in the essay. Participants will be judged on originality, content, and deliverance of the essay, and the work submitted must be original.

“I seems like nobody wants to push this,” said Kilchenman, who is also one of the five local judges for the contest. “I know the government tells teachers what they have to teach in the classroom, but to me, this is important too.”

Both contests include homeschooled children.

Kilchenman served his country in the Vietnam War.

“If it wasn’t for veterans, where would our country be?” he said.

Kilchenman said that if anyone wants to be a judge, they are welcome. Any junior high or high school student who would like to participate can contact Kilchenman at 740-829-2082 for additional information or contact the local VFW for an application form at 740-622-6175. Kilchenman noted that teachers at all three county school districts also have applications.

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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