VFW announces student essay contests

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Hawaii (VFW-HI) is sponsoring its annual essay contests for eligible public and private school students. The deadline to submit an entry is Oct. 31.

The Patriot’s Pen contest is open to sixth- through eighth-grade students enrolled in a public or private school as of Oct. 1 in Hawaii and American Samoa.

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This year’s theme is, “How Can I Be a Good American?” Essays must be 300 to 400 words in length, typed in English with no color or graphics.

Entries will be judged on knowledge of the theme (30 points); theme development (35 points) and clarity of ideas (35 points). The winner will be awarded $400 and be eligible to compete at the national level with prizes up to $5,000.

The Voice of Democracy contest is open to students in grade nine through 12 at public or private schools as of Oct. 1 in Hawaii and American Samoa.

The theme is “America: Where Do We Go From Here?” Entries must be recorded on an audio CD or flash drive and be three to five minutes in length. Entries will be judged on originality (30 points); content (35 points); and delivery (35 points). The winner will receive $500 and be eligible to compete at the national level with prizes up to $30,000.

Principals are encouraged to appoint teachers to organize school-level competitions and submit winning entries to the nearest VFW post.

The VFW-HI is comprised of 21 Posts with 4,000 members on Kauai, Maui, Hawaii Island, Oahu and American Samoa.

The Big Island’s three posts are:

• LCpl. Christopher Camero Memorial Post 12122 at 75-5543 Kaiwi St. in Kailua-Kona, (808) 896-1588

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• Orr/Onizuka Post 3875 at 150 Kino’ole St. in Hilo, (808) 936-5703

• LCpl Hayward Kimo Hami Peleiliolani Post 3830 at 15-775 Maluhia Road in Pahoa