Americanism Essay Entries



Americanism Action Plan

Joyce Smith

P.O. Box182

Chester, SD 57016

(Home) 605-489-2480


Hello my name is Joyce Smith and I am so excited to be able to represent you as the department chairman for Americanism. Our Americanism Program promotes patriotism and responsible citizenship.

What can you do?

As Auxiliary members we need to be knowledgeable on flag history, flag etiquette and the proper disposal methods of our torn and flags in unfit conditions. By teaching the proper handling, displaying, and respect for the American Flag, as well as our National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance we promote Americanism.

As Auxiliary members we need to practice respect for our flag at sporting events and other public events. We could sign up at to receive notification on when to display our flag at half-staff.

As Units and Members

We can recruit others to support the flag amendment by explaining what it is and why it is important. Sign up for The American Legion’s Legislative action alerts and follow flag issues.

We can work with local schools to further education of the Constitution, either whole or in part such as the Bill of Rights or the Preamble.

We can always fly a flag at our home or business as another really good way to promote patriotism. By voting and encouraging other to vote is also a good way. We can visit schools and give some basic facts about our flag, Our National anthem and when & why we stand and put our hands over our hearts at parades and ball games.


We can contact and ask state and federal representatives to support any and all flag amendments.

Those of you who have a green thumb can volunteer to keep up the area around the flag pole at your Community’s civic government area by planting seasonal flowers and collecting trash.

Our support of Junior Shooting spots, the promoting of gun safety and marksmanship training for our youth is another way we as Units and Members can promote patriotism. We also need to support our local American Legion baseball Teams as another way to promote our patriotism.

We should encourage our school age children in our local school to participate in the Americanism Essay Contest and The South Dakota Americanism Poetry Contests and the Oratorical Contests. As members we can encourage our children & grandchildren to participate in the essay contests. We can also Help Judge the essays. This year’s Essay Contest Theme is:

 “What can I personally do to promote Americanism in my school or community?”

The contest shall include six classes

Class                      Grade Level                     Word Requirement

I                                   3 and 4                                    150-250

II                                  5 and 6                                    250-300

III                                7 and 8                                    350- 400

IV                                9 and 10                                  450-500

V                                 11 and 12                                450-500

VI                                Students with                          Word count should correspond

                                    Special needs                          with student’s grade level

Students with special needs are defined as:

·       Those in special education classes.

·       A student recommended for special education classes, but who has not been admitted due to a            waiting list or various other factors.

·       A child identified as having a disability, but not in a special education class due to lack of                  facilities; identification contingent upon discretion of school officials.


Student Awards:  Americanism Essay Contest

Type of award:     Citation, $50.00 prize and additional $50.00 donation added to the Children of                                     Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship Fund.

Presented to:          30 students total, six from each division, one student for every class in each                                        division

·       Entries must include the Americanism Essay Contest cover sheet found in the Americanism              Annual Supplement to the Programs Action

·       Unit winners are sent to the department Americanism chairman, (me) following department               guidelines.

·       For deadline and division Americanism chairman contact information, please refer to the                    Americanism Annual Supplement to the Programs Action

·       National winners will be informed of their award via communication from National                            Headquarters. The award check will be mailed directly to the student and the citation will be              forwarded to the department for presentation.

·       While ALA representatives will do their best to return all essays it is not guaranteed. We                     recommend participants retain a copy of their submission for their own records.


Unit Presidents, please have your Mid Year reports to your District President by November 15th, 2017, and District Presidents I need your Mid Year Reports no later than December 1st, 2017. The Unit President's should have the Year End Reports sent to your District President by April 15 2018, and the District President's need to get the Year End reports to me by May 1st, 2018.

Please be as timely as posssible as I need time to get my report written and in to the National Chairperson. Thank you in advance for your promptness in getting the reports in on time. You can mail them to me at Joyce Smith, P. O. Box 182, Chester, SD 57016. Or at  A.L.A., P. O. Box 41, Chester, SD 57016. My email is Annual Reports reflect the progress of the program at the units and districts level.

As part of your narrative report, please include answers to the following questions:

·       How did you promote the Americanism essays contest?

·       How did units promote the flag program?

·       How did you promote patriotic holidays?

·       How did units encourage support of the flag amendment?

·       Did units support The American Legion Americanism programs? How?

·       How did units promote Americanism in their community? 

Americanism awards

Taking the time to share a favorite story about the positive impact you or someone you know has had on our mission is worth doing!  It helps us tell the world who we are, what we do, and why we matter. Just three simple steps to add your part to our national success story:

1.     Please follow instructions as you fill out the National Report and awards Cover Sheet found in          the awards section of the Programs Action Plan

2.     Provide details/examples about the activity as outlined in the award’s materials and guidelines            section.

3.     Submit as indicated in the annual supplement to the Programs Action Plan.


Joyce Smith

The San Mateo Elks Lodge just concluded one of its most successful elementary school  Americanism essay contest in recent memory.  Students in schools through out San Mateo County wrote essays on this years topic, “Why Our Veterans are America’s Heroes?”

There were almost 200 entries from the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Grades representing both public and private schools. The Judges put in tireless hours reading and judging the entries but were finally we able to decide on a total of 12 Winners from each Grade. Each student who won either 1st, 2nd or 3rd place will be receiving a stipend from the San Mateo Elks.

In addition each individual grade winner will be eligible to compete in our District competition and possibly further advance to our State and National competition.

Our Lodge Americanism Committee takes great pride and honor in congratulating the students, teachers and principals for providing a positive influence and dedication in this years contest.

This years Americanism committee members are Stan and Joanie Gross, Raul Muniz and his wife, Chuck Borrecco, Sheila Spieller, Dan and Mary Lynn Ruiz, Abbe Keane, Dr, Gerald Keane, Amanda Goll, Shannon Lee, Jessica Oseguera, and Elaine Chen. If any member is interested in next years Americanism committee, 2018 - 2019, please contact Tim Goll or the Lodge Secretary.

All recipients of awards, their teachers, principals and family are invited to attend our Annual Awards Ceremony later this year. Festivities will begin at 6:00 pm at the Lodge.


1st Place

Katelyn Lau (St Catherine of Siena School), Luciana Lewis (St Catherine of Siena School), Daniel Foad (St Catherine of Siena School), Hana Alfhami (Foster City School School)

2nd Place

Kristen Condon (St Catherine of Siena School), Isabella Sandino (St Catherine of Siena School), Troy Panayotou (St Catherine of Siena School), and Allison Uy-Barreta (St Catherine of Siena School)

3rd Place

Camryn Currie (St Catherine of Siena School), Christopher Galli (St Catherine of Siena School), Christian Del Rosario (St Catherine of Siena School), James Urrutia (St Catherine of Siena School), and Kianna Larsson (Foster City School)

Heroes on the Battlefield Fighting for Us

By Luciana Lewis

7th Grade

 "As we express gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." said John F. Kennedy.  Your words don't mean anything unless you do something about it.  Veterans are America's heroes because they have three qualities of heroes.  They sacrifice themselves, they show determination, and they act as leaders.

Veterans sacrifice spending time with their families.  As the veterans go into their job, they are making a commitment to the Unites States.  They give up watching their children grow while they are gone doing their job.  This is like a hero because heroes sacrifice being with their families to go save others.

Veterans are determined to win the good fight.  The veterans made a commitment to help this country and other countries gain freedom.  Veterans have consistently proven themselves to be reliable, independent, and hardworking.

Veterans also have the responsibility of being leaders and they set an example to protect those who are weak.  The veterans stay strong for all of us.  Veterans have skills such as problem solving and creativity that can benefit a plan to help win the fight.  Just like a hero, veterans hel0p and lead their people to victory.

Women and men who are veterans have served this country and fought for our freedom.  Our veterans are America's heroes because they possess many qualities of heroes.  They do this through sacrifice, determination, and by being leaders.  America is a better country for what our veterans, active military, and their family's sacrifices provide for us: freedom."

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