Chair: Nancy Diefenderfer (70)
To inspire, recognize, and perpetuate responsible citizenship through education and acts of patriotism, in order to raise
awareness and increase appreciation of the price paid for our fundamental freedoms.”
The Auxiliary provides opportunities and resources for learning about the Constitution and flying the flag on patriotic holidays. The Auxiliary promotes many patriotic youth programs, including the Americanism Essay Contest. They also fold pocket flags to send to our troops overseas and present flags to local schools and businesses. The Auxiliary advocates for a constitutional amendment to protect the flag.
Americanism Essay Contest: For students in grades 3-12. Grade levels are divided into five classes. One award in each of the five classes will be presented in each division. Winners will receive $50, and a $50 honorarium in the student’s name will be made to the Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship fund.
We have received a few questions recently regarding the title of this year's Americanism Essay Contest..."How does learning about government and our America help you become a future guardian of the liberties of our country?"
Madam President Mary Davis and I are confident that students will welcome the challenge with a little bit of support and encouragement from teachers and parents. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide a "teachable moment" and explain the meaning of the words "guardian" and "liberties" so that students will better understand how they relate to the title. We want to be sure that younger participants are able to answer the question to the best of their abilities. Younger students will need some extra guidance. Make a game out of helping them to understand what they are being asked to write about.
The word "liberties" has many meanings but basically means the state of being free within our society from being told what to do, how to act, how we should live or our political views. A good way to present the question would be "How does your knowledge of government help you to protect our liberties?" OR "How will you work to protect our freedoms?"
The word "guardian" could be explained comparing it to one of their favorite superheroes or cartoon characters. It is a person who looks after and is responsible for someone who is disabled or can't manage their own affairs. They are just like a defender, protector, or keeper.
You might suggest trying to get a feel for what level their understanding of the word “government” is. Make sure to teach them that it goes far beyond “the President” and exists on a local level all around them. With this having been an election year, all the media exposure has led some parents to discuss what is going on with their children. We may have some surprisingly savvy 3rd and 4th graders out there!
For the younger age levels, take it one step further and reiterate this year’s theme to them. Give them time to think about it and have them write it down, not blurt out answers. That would be a wonderful way to get their wheels turning and start building a foundation for their essays.
You might want to create a handout or discuss with their teachers the best way to build this into the curriculum as well as enlisting the aid of their parents.
Our youth are creative and more intelligent than we sometimes give them credit for. Let's open up the doors to learning as well as creativity as we work together to produce some enlightening Americanism essays. EVERY student should be given the opportunity to participate.
Chair: Sue Wagner (1)
Ann Rodriquez (23)
Rhonda Redgate (1111)
Chair: Deb McBride (1)
Auxiliary Emergency Fund
Chair: Cathy Barger (209)
The Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) is a national grant assistance program that provides temporary
emergency help to eligible members of the American Legion Auxiliary who have suffered a significant financial setback as the result of an act of nature or other personal crisis.
The AEF was established in 1969 with a bequest from the estate of Auxiliary member Helen Colby Small of Burlington, Wis. It continues today solely through donations from Auxiliary members.
The eligibility for the AEF is as follows. The member must be in good standing with The American Legion Auxiliary whose dues are current and who have maintained membership for three consecutive years (the current year and immediate past two years) to be eligible for assistance. The maximum grant amount is $2,400 and is dispersed as the Auxiliary Emergency Fund Grant Committee determines. All monies dispersed will go directly to the provider, not the member itself.
In our support of the community, my challenge to all American Legion Auxiliary Units this year is to do a “Penny Jar”. It’s an easy and simple concept. At each Legion Family/District event, Auxiliary would place these jars at various locations of your event and make it available for guests to drop their spare change into them. Gain points by adding pennies to your Legion Family/District jars. The jars aren’t only for pennies, so feel free to add silver coins or dollars. Every little bit helps. Please document the totals, and provide a report prior to Mid-Year Conference.
The Legion family with the most points win, but the big winner will be AEF.