What is this program, and why do we have it?
“The Education Program promotes the American Legion Auxiliary’s role in providing quality education for children and adults through classroom activities, literacy programs, scholarship promotion and support of education beyond high school, especially for military children.”
There are many ways we can all help to accomplish this goal:
GIVE 10 TO EDUCATION. Teachers often reach in their own pockets to pay for supplies for their classrooms. Check the school supply list and donate needed items. Collect Box Tops for Education and Campbell’s Soup labels. Items can also be donated to military bases and military Family Support Groups. Certificates will be awarded to Units participating and reporting on this.
Organize a “Veterans in the Classroom Day” so our students can learn about and appreciate the sacrifices the Veterans have made.
American Education Week is Nov 13-19, 2016. Plan treats or an activity to honor all school personnel, not just teachers. Everyone is a vital part of the education team.
Identify and mentor children in military families. Be a supportive and stable influence in their life.
Check out ideas at tutor.com/military
Your Unit and Post can select a nominee for Teacher of the Year. Nominations are due by
April 1 to the Department Office.
Do you knit or crochet? Some students are without hats and mittens in cold weather. Donations of these items, hand-made or purchased, are always appreciated.
Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1-5, 2017. Reach out to teachers and see if there is any way your Unit can assist them. Do they need help in the classroom? Supplies? Snacks?
Organize a book drive. Donate gently used books to your local public library or school library. Some Units give dictionaries to 3rd graders.
Your Junior members can be involved in all of these projects, too! They would be great as peer mentors and support. They may enjoy helping to make treats or favors to give to their teachers and school employees. They can cut off soup labels, snip box tops, and pull pop tabs.
Keep track of the projects your Unit does. There are several awards given out at year-end:
Million Member Award: How did the Education program helped retain and grow Unit membership?
Most Outstanding American Education Week Program
Most Outstanding Scholarship Program
Most Outstanding Veteran in the Classroom Project
Honoring the Service of our Military
Entries shall be narratives of 1000 words or less. Cover page must include name of entry, Department name, Unit name, and name & address of the Unit chair. Pictures, clippings and scrapbooks are welcome. I must receive all entries by May 25, 2017 so that the winners may be forwarded before deadlines.
One of the most important ways to help provide quality education is with merit awards. Many are available through the American Legion Auxiliary:
Department of Iowa Merit Awards: 10 will be given
Mary Virginia Macrae Memorial Merit Award: for medical training. Mrs. Macrae served as our first Department President.
Harriet Hoffman Memorial Merit Award: for educator training. Mrs. Hoffman established the education and scholarship program.
Department Past Presidents’ Merit Awards: to be determined
Only one form is needed to apply for all of these awards. Click on the forms tab and scroll to Merit Awards. Please follow all rules and deadlines. These awards are given to assist Iowa residents in obtaining a college, nursing, trade school, commercial or vocational education in Iowa schools.
National Scholarships are available, also:
Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship – this is awarded to children of veterans who served in the armed forces during eligibility dates for the American Legion.
The Non-Traditional Student Scholarship – the applicant must be a member of the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, or the Sons of the American Legion.
Spirit of Youth Scholarship – awarded to a Junior member.
Go to www.alaforveterans.org and click on “Scholarships” for details, application forms, and deadlines.
Your Girls Stater may be eligible to apply for the Samsung Scholarship if she has a veteran in her family. This takes pre-planning, as it is a lengthy application and must be turned in before Girls State begins. See the Department website for more information.
Many nonprofit organizations provide scholarships and financial aid to veterans, military, and their families. To bring awareness to these resources, OnlineSchools.org recently published their 2016 College Financial Aid: Soldiers, Veterans, and Families guide. Learn more about the scholarship opportunities available to veterans and active-duty military on their site.
Many local Units and Posts give out their own merit awards. Be sure to check. If your Unit is interested in starting a merit award fund, ideas are available on the National website. Don’t miss out on the opportunity for free money! And of course, Google it. A quick search for scholarships resulted in over 14,000,000 results.
The important thing to remember is…we can ALL do something! No matter how big or small, it all adds up. One match lights the darkness. And when more are added, the light just grows. A flame is not lessened by sharing, it only increases. Be sure to let me know what you and your Units have done so that it can be shared with others. Ideas are always welcome! Information on these programs and many others are available on the Department and National websites. If you need help, please contact me. I would be happy to assist!