MOORE — High school students in Cleveland and McClain Counties are invited to compete in “A Constitutional Speech Contest” to be held in local areas in January.
Students will vie for more than $40,000 in college scholarships given at the state and national levels, according to a news release from the American Legion.
In addition to Moore students, youths from Blanchard, Dibble, Lexington, Little Axe, Newcastle, Noble, Norman, Purcell, Wayne and Washington high schools — grades nine to 12 — are all eligible for the contest.
The contest will begin at the local American Legion Post level and continue through district, state and national levels. These schools are part of Oklahoma American Legion District 5B.
“This District also includes Garvin and Murray Counties whose students will also compete at the 5B District level. District 5 is in Central Oklahoma,” James O. Hood, District 5B Commander, said. “The 5B District winner and runner-up will compete with District 5A winners at a District 5 consolidated contest on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. District winners then will compete in the East-West Division contests on Saturday, Feb. 9, which will determine the four finalists for the state contest to be held at Duncan on Saturday, February 23.”
The state winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship and expenses to attend and compete in the first round at the National Finals tentatively set for April 19-21 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Where possible the initial post level contests for the students will be arranged with the cooperation of local school officials and faculty who will assist with the contest arrangements as well as help students with their preparations. The official rules can be obtained either through a student’s school or from their local American legion Post.
Each student’s participation includes a prepared written oration and a second speech on an assigned topic. The subject in the prepared oration portion of the contest must be about some phase of the Constitution of the United States government. The prepared oration must be the original effort of each contestant and must be 8 to 10 minutes in length.
The national assigned topics this year are: Article II, section 1, paragraph 5 (Qualifications to be president); Amendment 22 (Presidential term limits); Amendment 2 (The militias and right to bear arms); and Amendment 24 (Abolition of the poll tax). Students must be prepared for all.
The American Legion will pay the expenses of state winners at the national contest.
All 9th through 12th grade students in central Oklahoma who are interested in entering the competition should check with their local school or American Legion. They may also obtain the rules and information by e-mailing their own contact information to: email@example.com or the Oklahoma Department of the American Legion at firstname.lastname@example.org. The toll free number at state headquarters for information is 1-800-281-7557 or 405-525-3511.