Bright Spots in Home Schooling

June 24, 2003  

Homeschoolers Compete in the American Legion's National High School Oratorical Contest

The American Legion runs an annual competition to test high school students' knowledge of the Constitution. Students research assigned clauses and sections of the Constitution before delivering speeches on the topics.

Home School Finalists - Back row: William Glaser of Scio,Oregon; Timothy Harris of Tifton, Georgia. Middle row: Luke Lusk of Warsaw, Indiana; Jedidiah Wentz of Mitchellville, Maryland; Elliott Williams of Eagle River, Alaska. Front row: Irene Smith of Summerville, South Carolina; Ethan Akerberg of Milton, New Hampshire.

The Legion runs the contest to, "develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and the preparation for acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, the rights and privileges of American citizenship."

Before reaching the National Contest, which was held this year in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 13, and 14, the competing students first won their respective state competitions. HSLDA is pleased to report that seven, out of the 54 finalists, were homeschoolers.

In each round, competitors delivered a rehearsed 8 to 10 minute address and a randomly assigned 3 to 5 minute oration on a constitutional topic, each without the benefit of notes and in front of a live audience, including the judges.

The contestants vied for top prize college scholarship money of $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000, awarded to the first, second and third places respectively. Each of the contestants received $1500 in scholarship money.

The second place winner of $16,000 in college scholarship money was home school junior William Glaser of Scio, Oregon.

Timothy Harris of Georgia studied intensively from November to February writing and memorizing his speeches for the competition. "I've learned so much about the foundations of our country," he said. "The whole event was a great experience," he added.

For more information on the American Legion's National High School Oratorical Contest visit their website at: http://www.legion.org/events/evt_oratorical.htm

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