Mariessa McKenna, an 8th grade student, was named the 2012-2013 Patriot's Pen 1st-place winner.
Her essay on the 2012-2013 theme, "What I Would Tell America's Founding Fathers" won her a $5,000 award. Mariessa was sponsored by VFW Post 8065 and Ladies Auxiliary in Bowie, Md.
YOU TOO CAN WIN!
WHO CAN ENTER:
The Patriot's Pen program is open to students in grades 6-8 (on the Nov. 1 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.
HOW TO ENTER:
The deadline for submissions
for the 2014-2015 program is November 1, 2014. The 2014-15 entry form will be available around March
The theme for 2013-2014 was: “What Patriotism Means to Me”
NEW: The theme for 2014-2015 is: "Why I Appreciate America's Veterans"
Students can ask a teacher or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition. Then students can contact a local participating VFW Post and established a contact person who is a member of that Post or its Ladies Auxiliary.
Essays must be no less than 300 words and cannot exceed 400 words and should be submitted to the Post, along with the completed Patriot's Pen entry form no later than the November 1 deadline.
Knowledge of the theme is worth 30 points: You must show a thorough knowledge of the theme in your work. Demonstrate you have researched the issue extensively.
Theme development is worth 35 points: Answer all relevant facts about the theme such as the who, what, where, when and why. Relate the theme to your own experiences.
Clarity of ideas is worth 35 points: Write your essay in an easy-to-understand format. Leave your reader with a clear understanding of your explanation of the theme.
Read a previous winning essay here.