Local students in grades six through 12 are being encouraged to enter for their chance to win a share of the $3.2 million in college scholarships and savings bonds awarded through the 2011 VFW Voice of Democracy and VFW Patriot’s Pen essay contests.

 VFW’s annual scholarship contests were enacted to foster patriotism among America’s youth by allowing students the opportunity to express their opinions on democracy based on an annual theme.

Nearly 200,000 students participate in the contests annually.

 This year marks the Voice of Democracy audio-essay contest’s 65th year.

Students in grades nine through 12 who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the U.S. and its territories are eligible to enter.

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school.

 This year also marks the 16th year for the Patriot’s Pen program.

This program is open to students in grades six through eight who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the U.S. and its territories.

The national first-place winner receives $10,000 savings bond.

 The deadline to enter either contest is November 1.

 The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed these programs on the National Association of Student Councils, National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2010-2011. 

 For complete information and contest rules, please visit www.vfw.org/ Programs. 

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