The Windham American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 and the American Legion National High School Oratorical Scholarship Program is once again under way.
The program is a Constitutional Speech contest that provides winners with scholarship opportunities at all levels (Local-District-Department of Maine-National). Contestants are asked to speak on a topic of their choice related the U.S. Constitution for eight to 10 minutes followed by a speech of about five minutes on a Constitutional topic selected by the judges.
All high-school students in Grades 9 to 12 attending public high schools, private schools, parochial schools, military schools and home-schooled (great opportunity for home-schools) are invited to compete in the 2020/2021 contest. The usual procedure is for contestants to compete in a local Legion 148 Post contest, then progress to a district contest, and the winners representing each district advancing to the State Finals.
The department winner will represent Maine in the National Contest in Indianapolis on April 9 to April 11, 2021 with the national organization funding round-trip tickets and lodging for both the contestant and a chaperone over 21 years of age.
The primary purpose of the contest is to instill in our students a better knowledge and appreciation of the United States Constitution. Additionally, the Legion post hopes to develop enhanced leadership qualities, thinking and speaking clearly, and preparation for acceptance of the duties, responsibilities, rights, and privileges of American citizenship. A secondary purpose is to assist students in paying the high cost of a college education.
Previous contestants have remarked that the positive experience of speaking in front of an audience will help them in many aspects of their lives going forward.
Students who compete in these contests have the opportunity of receiving money awards toward their future school endeavors. Post and district awards are to be determined by those areas.
At the Post level, the winner will receive $200. On the state level, the first-place winner receives $1,500; second-place $500; third-place $300; and fourth-place $125. Students who compete in the National Contest will receive at least a $2,000 scholarship with the final competition awarding $25,000.
The State Oratorical Contest will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 at Thomas College in Waterville. A tentative snow date of Feb. 20, 2021 has also been scheduled.
For additional questions and information pertaining to the Oratorical Contest in Maine, please contact your Guidance Officer at your school or The Field-Allen Post 148 Commander, Eric Bickford at 207-310-8618 or Department Headquarters at 207-873-3229.
For more information, visit www.mainelegion.org or your local American Legion Post. Check out state and local oratorical contests by visiting the American Legion’s national website at www.legion.org. <