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October 17, 2018

APW Students Receive Awards from VFW Writing Contest


PARISH – Three students from Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District received awards for two Veterans of Foreign Wars writing contests: the Patriot’s Pen and the Voice of Democracy.

APW students are presented with VFW writing contest awards from the Williamstown VFW Post 136. From left: APW Junior-Senior High School Principal Michelle Crisafulli, Rafael Medina (VFW Post 136 member and APW alum), Ben Ostrander (1st place in the Patriot’s Pen), Anna DeHart (2nd place in the Voice of Democracy), Jenna Brockett (1st place in the Voice of Democracy Post level and 2nd place county level), Commander Douglas Kaine and Quartermaster Joseph Bruggeman.

APW students are presented with VFW writing contest awards from the Williamstown VFW Post 136. From left: APW Junior-Senior High School Principal Michelle Crisafulli, Rafael Medina (VFW Post 136 member and APW alum), Ben Ostrander (1st place in the Patriot’s Pen), Anna DeHart (2nd place in the Voice of Democracy), Jenna Brockett (1st place in the Voice of Democracy Post level and 2nd place county level), Commander Douglas Kaine and Quartermaster Joseph Bruggeman.

The VFW’s Voice of Democracy competition is an audio-essay contest in which students in grades nine through 12 have the opportunity to write and share their ideas on a provided democratic theme.

The 2015-16 theme was “My Vision for America.”

Entries begin at the post level and continue on to the county, state and national levels.

The judging is blind, based on criteria of originality, clearly expressed ideas and speaking delivery.

APW students Anna DeHart and Jenna Brockett both submitted an audio recording of themselves reading their essay that was between three and five minutes long.

Through the VFW Post 136 in Williamstown, DeHart earned second place and Brockett received first place; Brocket also received second place at the county level.

The VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest is offered to students in grades six through eight. The students are challenged to research American history and draft an essay regarding a patriotic theme; this year’s theme was “What Freedom Means to Me.”

Entries are judged based on the student’s knowledge of the theme, their development of the theme in their writing and the clarity of their ideas. APW student Ben Ostrander received first place through VFW Post 136.

VFW Post 136 Commander Douglas Kaine, Quartermaster Joseph Bruggeman and Rafael Medina (member and APW alum) presented the students with their certificates and scholarships at the APW Junior-Senior High School.

After congratulating them on their hard work, the veterans encouraged the students to enter again next year.

The 2016-17 Patriot’s Pen theme will be “The America I Believe In,” and the Voice of Democracy theme will be “My Responsibility to America.”

Entry forms will be available starting in the spring.

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