Current VFW Programs for Post 541

Voice of Democracy/Patriot Pen

Voice of Democracy

The 2018-19 theme is: Why My Vote Matters

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. Many notables have participated in Voice of Democracy including journalist Charles Kuralt, Miss America Anita Bryant and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. The Voice of Democracy competition provides high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to write and record an essay on a patriotic theme, competing for more than $2.1 million in college scholarships and incentives. State winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to enjoy our nation’s capital and compete for $155,500 in scholarships —first place receiving a $30,000 scholarship

Patriots Pen

The 2018-19 theme is: Why I Honor the American Flag

Patriot’s Pen provides 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students the opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic theme and improve their writing skills while they compete for worthwhile awards and prizes. Awards can be given at the local, district and state levels. The state winners compete for $54,500 in awards at the national level. The first-place national winner receives a $5,000 award and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C., where they tour the city.

Teacher of the Year

Each year three exceptional teachers are recognized by the VFW for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach at least half of the school day in a classroom environment and promote America’s history, traditions and citizenship education effectively. The Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award recipients are selected from entries submitted to local VFW Posts in every state and overseas. The awards include the following items:

  • A national $1,000 Past National CIC John Smart award for the top K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 grade teachers for professional development expenses.
  • $1,000 award for each winning teacher’s school.
  • Plaques for both the winning teacher and school.
  • An all-expenses-paid trip to attend the VFW National Convention.