It is time for students to show patriotism and possibly earn a little money by entering the Patriot's Pen and the Voice of Democracy writing challenges, which are sponsored nationally by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and by the local Brazil VFW Post No.1127.
The Patriot's Pen writing contest is open to students in grades 6-8 and they must answer the question "When is the right time to honor our military heroes?"
North Clay Middle School students may pick up an entry form at the schools front office. The Voice of Democracy scholarship program is for high school students in grades 9-12. Contestants must write a 300-400-word essay answering the question "Does America still have heroes?" and turn it back into the office by Nov. 1, and Democracy students must make a 3-5-minute audio recording of their essay.
A committee established by the Brazil VFW Post will then judge the essays and the winners will be notified in December.
"They always have a hard time determining the winners," he said.
First place in Voice of Democracy will receive $300, second place is $200 and third place is $100. First place in the Patriot's Pen essay contest will receive $150, second place is $100 and third place is 50.
The local winners will then advance to the District competition, then to the state competition, and concluding at the national competition.
The winning high school student will receive a $30,000 scholarship that is paid directly to the American university, college or vocational/technical school of the beneficiaries choice.
Scholarships ranging from $1,000-$16,000 are also available as well as an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
The winning middle school students have a chance to win a $10,000 savings bond and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
The national winners will each be given a savings bond ranging from $1,000-$10,000.
Above all else, the contest gives the students the opportunity to delve into a topic they might not have had the opportunity to do.
"This gives students the chance to show respect," Schradely said. "As well as learn more about their country and those who serve."