Working alongside America’s youth and instilling a sense of patriotism has always been — and will always be — a VFW priority. We work with youth through the following outreaches:
VFW in the Classroom
Every day, we strive to thank America's educators by providing them with helpful resources and encouraging our members to visit local classrooms. Let us help you educate America's future leaders and bring history to life!
Veterans play an important role in educating our nation's youth about the founding principles upon which America was founded. As combat veterans, VFW members can provide students with a unique perspective about the sacrifices America's service members make to maintain freedom for all of us.
When visiting a classroom, a VFW member will prepare a brief introduction, a main presentation and a Q&A session. Depending on the topic, a member may bring appropriate memorabilia, uniforms, photographs and other relevant material.
American history is something we all share, and there's no one better to help tell that story than someone who's had a great part in shaping it.
Patriot's Pen Writing Competition
Conducted nationwide, this VFW-sponsored youth essay competition gives
students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. We invite you to join the more than 120,000 students nationwide who participated last year in this contest. The national winners will receive at least $500. The first-place national award is currently $5,000 plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the winner and a parent or guardian. (VFW Post 305 gives cash awards to local winners.)
Patriot’s Pen is open to 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students enrolled by the Oct.
31 deadline in public, private or parochial schools in the U.S., its territories or its possessions. Home-schooled students also are eligible.
Voice of Democracy Audio-Essay Program
Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 40,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $2.1 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.
The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. (VFW Post 305 gives cash awards to local winners.) A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.