March has some little known or publicized holidays in it, one being National Anthem Day, March 3rd, and National K9 Veterans Day on March 13th. Could you consider having a celebration day at your local school for either of these, I’m sure the kids would love it and planning either would get your creative juices in overdrive.
A very well known holiday is St. Patrick’s Day, a fun time to spend with children, looking for four leaf clovers and a great time to teach them how the Irish played a part in founding this great country.
(Sing along) Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail, hoppin’ down the bunny trail, hippidy hoppidy Easter’s on it’s way. We’re right around the corner to finishing the report year, at the end of this month, and I want to be sure ALL of you have been collecting the ‘eggs’ in the basket to turn in, (in case you haven’t already). This month is a very special month because of EASTER, my favorite holiday because the Lord has risen. It is also the time we can do a lot with our youth. Some ideas for your Easter egg hunts would be to fill some of those plastic eggs with tiny little American flags, or red, white and blue candies, or have a Patriotic Easter bunny as a grand prize for winners for the hunt. I know some of you have great ideas for the Easter theme.
Did anyone visit the schools for Presidents’ Day? Has anyone donated their time reading books from the library? Some really good reports have been coming in about work being done at the schools. And you don’t have to go to the schools to work with the youth, you can join them in the scouts or boy and girls club events. Some volunteer their time coaching baseball, football, soccer and even swimming.
These are the times when the children watch us and some ‘hang’ on every word we say and this is a time we can instill in them the love of country, patriotism and American values. Believe it or not, they are listening. We are setting the example so let’s please set a good one.
Hats off to all who have made this a great program to work with. May all the youth you have encountered leave with great memories of what they will take with them in their future. Signing off for now.
Hope all had a Healthy, happy and safe New Year. The really big holidays are here and gone BUT we have some pretty good ones coming up that will benefit our children and adults as well.
February is Black History Month and also American Heart Month. Some of the holidays include; Valentine’s Day February 14th, which is also Ash Wednesday, and Presidents Day February 19th. There are also several ‘observations’ that I thought were cute but could be fun to celebrate with the students at your local schools, they include; National Tater Tot Day and Bubblegum Day both on the 2nd. On February 4th the USO is recognized, February 8th is National Boy Scouts Day, then National Pizza Day on the 9th. Adding to the list is Armed Forces Day on the 11th, Random Acts of Kindness Day on the 17th and on the 26th is Letters to the Elder Day. These days and many that were NOT mentioned were all compliments of the World Wide Web but I thought they were interesting enough to bring up in case y’all didn’t have reason to visit your schools and give me a report on your activities.
The report year is closing in on us and the school year is more than half over. Have we had something to report with our children? If not get a group of kids and visit a nursing home in your area and distribute Valentine cards. They don’t have to be store bought, you and the kids can go visit with coloring paper and colors or pens and make them at the facility. The look on an elderly’ face could melt your heart with his or her smile when a child visits them and sits a few minutes. But we really don’t have just Valentines Day to do this, we could visit ANY day. Think, some of us just might be there in the near future and would like a little company.
The Department coloring contest DEADLINE will be March the 15th. Please turn in all entries to Jackie Truelove, Denise Kindred or Doreen Rugg before or on that date. The winners will be announced at the Council of Administration that week-end.
Thank you all is advance for contributing to this Department’s Youth program and as I mentioned earlier, the report year deadline will be on us earlier than you think. Please get with the youth in your community and have fun with some kids, I heard they keep you young.
Ho Ho Ho and I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a healthy one. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! and may this year be a very healthy one to all.
Well, what can one say this year that we all haven’t heard a hundred times? How are our kids and what are we doing to instill patriotism and love of country?
Well, were there any parties that we hosted for them and promoted Americanism, brotherhood, what does America mean to me, why I’m proud to be an American and thankful to be from America? I don’t think so but I hope I’ve given you ‘food’ for thought. During January and February would be a great time to do this because of one of the greatest leaders of our times was born on January 15th, Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidents Day is February 19th. I know that some of you will visit the schools in your community and host events that will commemorate these wonder leaders of our country.
There are a few items at the VFW store to help you make a splash with the children and there are numerous ways to celebrate the day, and you can also distribute the Department coloring contest pages while you’re there. For those who don’t have them, they can be found on the ‘Youth’ section of the reports forms. We’ll announce a deadline at the Mid-Winter conference in January.
Please remember, I accept reports on any type of paper and any way you send them, Department forms, web page, emails, snail mail and carrier pigeon to name a few. You can also message me at 228-990-6969.
For those of you that are working with our future leaders, hats off to you and keep up the good work, I know it will pay off in time.
Until next time, be safe and carry membership applications at all times, you never know when you might meet someone to recruit.
I hope everyone had a Happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving holiday and were able to enjoy quality time.
Wow, the year is almost over and the celebration of the birth of Christ upon us. I’m so thankful to live in the United States of America and able to enjoy the liberties that our forefathers have fought and died for. These are some of the things that we need to instill in our youth. Liberties that are not given to most of the youth in other countries. We are faced today and every day with enlightening our youth in things that others don’t have and will never have because of the love of country, family and freedom that our ancestors had and were willing to give all that we, their family would enjoy.
Has everyone received the coloring contest sheet that were sent by the Department Secretary? You can download them from links above or off the Department website under download forms. This is a Department contest and not a National contest and opened to all youth in grades 1st through 6th in public, private and home schooling. We hope you all take a look at these pages and participate.
Some auxiliaries have ‘adopted’ youth groups and are doing lots of things with them and having lots of fun. If you visit a nursing home, children may be able to come along and they are so much around the elderly and the elderly enjoy them also. It’s not to late.
February is close and is a month for school activities and would be a great time to visit your local schools and bring some flags, pencils from the VFW store, book markers and other patriotic items offered.
Christmas, a time for a lot of activities with family and friends. May everyone have a Blessed, Holy, healthy and safe holiday but always remember the reason for the season.
WOW! What a hot summer! I love the fall with the cooler weather and hopefully colder weather behind it. But I also love the Thanksgiving season which I celebrate all year round thanks to the dedication of the men and women that have selfishly given their time for the preservation of freedom for all of us back here at home.
FREEDOM and what that really means to us. What a great thing to instill in our youth! The love of freedom and we have that opportunity to do it each and every day and some of you are. Have any of you thought of going to the schools or ‘youth’ gatherings and talked of some of the reasons we have Thanksgiving and continue to have this wonderful holiday (and all holidays)? What wonderful things we can ‘pass on’ to our children. As everyone knows, kids of all ages watch everything we do and want to be just like Mom and Dad.
We have several programs that help to strengthen the love of country, freedom and the liberties we enjoy every day. Patriotism through programs such as ‘Illustrating America Art Contest’, ‘3 Dimensional Patriotic Art Contest’, and ‘Get excited about the Red, White and Blue’ or just a few. Several of you have asked about the Department coloring contest and we have brought it back this year. If your president didn’t get the pictures at Council, contact me and I will get them to you.
Are you helping your post promote the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen programs for our youth? Children in the ‘home school’ program are also eligible for all the above programs. If anyone needs help with anything, call me or check on our the web site for more information on any program the VFW or Auxiliary sponsor.
Please remember to fill out report forms on the web or send hard copies, anyway you want I’ll take them.
Thank you for the time you spend on this program and have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving and remember the veterans deployed this and every holiday season.
Ladies and gentlemen….how time has flown! September is gone and holidays are around the corner. And speaking of holidays, has your auxiliary reported the Easter events during the month of April. As most of you know,
I have spoken to or left word with all the Presidents of each auxiliary regarding name and contact information for the Youth Committee chairman.
I have been surprised at all the various work you have done in and around your community for our veterans with and without the youth. I’m so glad I contacted each one of you. They were enlightening conversations. As most of you knew our reporting year ended on March 31 so I was jogging your minds about activities that may have been forgotten ie. Easter egg hunts, after school parties, pool parties, Vacation Bible school, Scouts activities, reading at the Library, Boys and Girls Club functions etc. etc.. AND don’t forget the pictures some of you have promised to bring. Some of you have already been on the ‘web’ to file your reports, thank you.
If you do activities that aren’t mentioned on my form I will gladly take those
also. Everything that is done can’t be mentioned on such short paper.
Working with the young people can be so rewarding and refreshing to our spirits. Does anyone need tips for ‘working with the youth’? There is a list of them on the web and I’ll bring some with me at our next Council of Administration in October.
Fellow brothers and sisters, the Youth of today are our LEADERS of tomorrow and we have the opportunity to shape that future for the good of our country. We set examples for the young and they watch us all the time.
If you have some free time, consider ‘adopting’ a school, classroom, youth club or group and get that ‘feel great’ feeling. You will not regret it.
Remember, report, report, and report. Thank you for all you do.
When were you first introduced to the term “patriotism”? I don’t remember mine, however, I do remember Kindergarten and the attempt to learn the Pledge of Allegiance.
I was so proud to put my hand on my chest and boldly repeat the words ‘I pledge of Allegiance’. I don’t remember much after that but I do remember every scout meeting and the beginning of class each day, we would say the ‘Pledge’ and were glad to do so.
At that young age I had no idea why we said it and didn’t concept the idea of why and how we got the privilege of saying it. I did find out later in my younger years who and why gave us this opportunity. Many men and women ‘signed on the dotted line’ and gave up so may things and some gave ‘all’ so that we could be free to say and do the many things that people take for granted today.
Today’s youth are no exception. They need to be taught the freedoms they are enjoying today were at the cost of someone elses misfortune.
Our program, Youth Activities, helps us achieve that goal. We have many avenues to experience the joy and happiness of teaching the future leaders of this great country what it means to be an American and a good one at that.
Patriotism through Literacy
We can promote patriotism though our reading program. Kindergartners, first & second graders, can be given the ‘seed’ of patriotism through reading of our historical figures that helped build this great country the United States of America. In books they will learn how our country was formed, the importance of our Flag and why we say the Pledge. Encouraging our youth to visit and take advantage of the reading material at a local library is one example of opening the world to them in many ways.
Examples of books with youth in mind are:
America the Beautiful by Cholena Rose Dare (ages 3-6)
The Night Before the Fourth of July by Narasha Wing (ages 3-5)
Fourth of July by Emma Carlson Berne (Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme) (ages 5-7)
The Fourth of July Story by Alice Dalgleish (ages 4-8)
What Does it Mean to by American? by Rana DiOrio (ages 4-8)
Fireworks, Picnics, and Flag by James Cross Giblin (ages 10-12)
Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out was created by the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance with 110 Renowned Authors and Illustrators.
Caroline Kennedy introduced and illustrated A Patriot’s Handbook, Songs, Poems,
Stories And Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love.
These and many other patriotic books can be found at your nearest bookstore, or online for purchase.
There are many benefits from reading but my favorite reason that I told my granddaughter while home schooling her was, reading opens the world to you and you don’t even leave home.
As Auxiliary members we can participate by volunteering to read at a library near you, donate historical fiction to your local school libraries, community libraries or shelters. Host a read-a-thon and award something (maybe books) for the number of books read.
Get Excited for the Red, White and Blue
It is so inspiring to listen to our National Anthem sung but even more so when the young ones sing it. The Auxiliary sponsors a singing contest with two different age divisions; K-8 and 9-12. Entries will be judged on vocal ability, mastery of lyric, originality or interpretation and entertainment value.
First-place winner from each Department in each grade division will be forwarded to Auxiliary Headquarters. There will be one National winner in each grade division with awards for first, second and third place in each division. Entry forms are located in MALTA Member Resources, Youth Activities and contains eligibility requirements and contest rules.;
Entries received by:
Participating Auxiliary – March 31
Department – April 15 Nation Headquarters – May 5
Video of contestant’s solo vocal performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” must be recorded between July 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024.
Performance must be saved as a YouTube video.
Contestant maly sing a cappella, with backing tracks or instruments.
Contestant may sing in the arrangement and style of their choice.
Contestant may NOT change the words.
Encouraging more patriotism in our youth can be done by having them compete in the contest, Illustrating America, open to any student in grades K-8 who is enrolled in public, private and parochial school or a home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or who are dependents of U. S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools. However, foreign exchange students and students 15 years or older are ineligible. There are three grade divisions: K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. National grade division winners of previous Illustrating America contests may enter the next grade division but are ineligible for the same grade division of which they are a previous winner.
The Department first-place winner in each grade division will be sent to National Headquarters. For more details on requirements, contest rules, the student brochure and entry form, consult MALTA Member Resources, Youth Activities.
Entries received by;
Local Auxiliary – March 31
Department – April 15 National Headquarters – May 5
Art must be two-dimensional.
Art must be on canvas or kpaper.
Watercolor, pencil, pastel, charcoal, tempera, crayon, acrylic, pen, ink, oil, marker or other media may be used.
Submit canvas entries on a stretcher frame or canvas board. Other entries, if matted, must be matted in white or reinforced with heavy paper.
The art should be no smaller than 8” x 10” but no larger than 18” x 24”, not including mat.
Coloring sheets, digital art and photograph are not accepted.
Creating, Sponsoring and Working with Youth Groups.
As part of the Auxiliary Youth Activities Program, an Auxiliary can sponsor a youth group and engage youth in any one of our Programs, including activities to honor our veterans or assist our service members and their families.
Take advantage of the service aspects some youth groups require. Many youth-focused organizations require various types of community service or activities to earn merits in their units. College-bound seniors earn school credit for some of these same activities. Remember that involving youth in service to veterans in conjunction with your Auxiliary can bring new membership to your Auxiliary. When youth and the whole family are included, members feel more invested in your Auxiliarysorship. Sponsorship of a youth group can create a bright future for your Auxiliary, veterans and the community as a whole.
Youth Group Examples for VFW Auxiliary Sponsorship
Youth sports teams
Church youth groups
After school programs
Youth community service groups
Nonprofit organization youth advisorycouncils
Service learning and civic engagement departments in high schools and colleges
Youth Groups Supporting Our Veterans Citations
This citation is one way for Auxiliaries to recognize youth groups for their efforts and service projects honoring our veterans, and assisting service members and their families. This citation is also available in MALTA Member Resources under Youth Actiovities.
Patrotic Youth Award
This award is designed to recognize individual youth for their patriotism and/or support of our veterans, service members and their lfamilies. A fill-able, printable version of The Patriotic Youth Award is available in MALTA Member Resources under Youth Activities
Involve Youth in ALL Auxiliary Programs
Encourage involvement from an early age in your activities and programs. Every young person can find their place to serve when they are presented with a variety of opportunities to serve their communities and veterans.
Teach youth about Auxiliary effort to:
Respect and take pride in our country.
Serve hospitalized veterans.
Elect leaders who appreciate our military.
Pass legislation that secures benefits for our veterans and many other worthy efforts!
Focusing on Patriotism, beginning at a young age is vital for them to appreciate the sacrifices of the veterans who have fought and died to keep our freedoms. As members of the VFW Auxiliary, we can start at home, at schools, community gatherings, at church and many other social gatherings setting good examples and reminding them of all that has been done for the people of the nation.