Youth and Educational Outreach Programs
The SAR is a historical, educational, and patriotic organization that focuses on the American Revolution. As a part of our educational outreach, the SAR conducts several programs across the country. Some of our most active programs are targeted to our future leaders, our children and those who are educators. Below you will find a list of the programs that the SAR runs, and a brief description of each.
Americanism Elementary School Poster Contest
This contest is directed at students in the 4th or 5th grades, depending on which grade year the American Revolution is taught in their educational system. The National Society Elementary School Poster Contest will stimulate interest in American History in support of the Fourth or Fifth Grade Curriculum
The National Society SAR Americanism Committee is pleased to announce the National Americanism Poster Contest. The aim of this contest is to stimulate interest in American History in support of the established school curriculum.
This contest is directed at students in the 3rd, 4th or 5th grades, depending on which year the American Revolution is taught in their educational system – including ecumenical and home schooled students.
The contest is also open to members of the Cub Scouts and Brownies and CAR (Children of the American Revolution) who are in the same grades but whose school system may not be participating in the contest. In the case where the local school system, or its equivalent, is participating, the young person must enter the contest through the school and not as a separate entry.
The topic for the Poster Contest is set by the NSSAR Americanism Committee annually at the Spring Leadership Meeting for the upcoming school year. The topic is announced at the Annual NSSAR Congress after the winning poster for the current year is recognized.
The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest
The contest is designed to explore the influence of the Revolutionary war on present day America. Contest is open to all students attending home schools, public, parochial, or private high schools who are in their freshman, sophomore, junior or senior (grades 9 through 12) year of study.
The chapter, state or district contest follows the procedures of the NSSAR Congress contest which are as follows. These procedures are known to the majority of our chairmen, but new chairmen may be unfamiliar with them. The national procedures are as follows:
At the beginning of the program the rules are explained to the orators and the audience.
Before the contest begins, preferably in private conference with the chairman, the orators draw numbers to determine the speaking order.
All orators are introduced only by number. In giving the oration, at no time may the orator use notes or props.
There are at least three judges, all of whom are SARs in accordance with the 1985 NSSAR Congress action. Prior to the contest, the chairman discusses the rules, procedures and judging sheets with the judges. The judges are seated throughout the audience with their location unknown to the speakers. The chairman acts neither as coach nor judge.
Before the first orator comes before the audience, the timer is introduced. For the benefit of the orator, the signals to indicate five minutes and six minutes are described to the orators and the audience. If the orator announces a title, timing does not begin until the oration itself begins. The orator at the end of six minutes may complete his/her sentence. If the orator begins the next sentence and/or continues, the timer records the excess time. If the oration is less than five minutes, the timer records the time not used.
The chairman follows the manuscript. The changing of a word or a sentence is understood, but if a substantial portion of the oration deviates from the manuscript, the chairman indicates this on the record. The timer and chairman are seated together for recording purposes. The one who is following the manuscript can and should prompt. The timer notes these promptings on his record.
When the contest is over the judges and timer have retired, the chairman introduces each orator either by name or number and asks the individual to comment on his/her activities, school, future plans, and any family members or support group persons that may be with them at the contest.
When the judges return, they are introduced. The judging sheets and notes are the property of the SAR. The winners are announced and presented with monetary awards and Olympic-size medals. Some chapter, states, and districts give monetary awards.
The George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest
The contest is designed to give high school students an opportunity to explore events that shaped American History. Contestants shall be in the sophomore, junior or senior grade of study during the contest year.
The George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest was originally established and named in honor of President Calvin Coolidge, who won a local SAR essay contest while a student at Amherst. The contest was reestablished in 1988 by Compatriot McCarthy DeMere. In 1995, the contest was renamed the George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest in honor of their generous gift to the SAR to support this contest. The program is designed to give sophomore, junior and senior students an opportunity to explore events that shaped American history.
Conducted at the Chapter, State Society and National Society levels, the students must submit an original essay with topics based on original research and deal with an event, person, philosophy or ideal associated with the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution.
ROTC/JROTC Recognition Program
The SAR awards the ROTC Medal to foster the principle of the “citizen-soldier”, exemplified by the Minutemen of Revolutionary War days. This award is presented by a Chapter, a State Society, or the National Society to ROTC or JROTC cadets who are selected for having a high degree of merit with respect to leadership qualities, military bearing and general excellence.
At the beginning of the school year each Chapter contacts the Senior or District Instructor of the local JROTC unit(s). Through- out the year the chapter remains in contact with the administrators of the school and the JROTC unit, providing support for other programs and discussing plans for this program. The chapter should have the school administration, along with the instructors of the JROTC unit, evaluate candidates based on the criteria listed below and select one nominee for each JROTC unit (battalion, squadron, etc.). If the chapter supports several JROTC units, it should run a local contest to select the best cadet, since only one cadet per chapter may advance to the state competition. The chapter contest must have only SAR members as judges, and all contests should be administered using the guidelines listed below.
All State Society Contests must be completed and the National Contest entry packet must be forwarded to the NSSAR Executive Director to be in his office No later than May 1 each year. As soon as the Outstanding Cadet in the Nation is selected the Chapter sponsoring that cadet will be contacted so that it can coordinate the Cadet’s travel to the NSSAR Annual Congress.
The cadet will be flown to the NSSAR Congress to attend, receive his / her award, and be recognized by the National Society Sons of the American Revolution. The award will be the National JROTC Medallion and a check for $3,000.00.
An additional amount, not to exceed $1,000.00, of expense money will be provided to pay for the combined travel, taxi to and from the airport, hotel and related meals for both the Cadet and his / her chaperone. Expenses in excess of the $1,000.00 will be the responsibility of the Cadet. Additional assistance might be made available from the sponsoring Chapter or Society – but it is not mandatory. The travel expenses related to the respective State Conventions will be at the discretion of the said State Societies.
Arthur M. & Berdena King Eagle Scout Scholarship
Open to all Eagle Scouts who are currently registered in an active unit and have not reached their 19th birthday during the year of application. The year that Eagle was awarded is not restricted. Three cash scholarship awards are given: As the National First Place winner – $8,000.00; Runner-up – $4,000.00; 2nd runner-up – $2,000.00. Scouts may apply more than one year if they meet the age requirements but no more than $8,000.00 total may be granted to any one Eagle Scout.
Entrants need to complete only one application — the one for the chapter competition. If it is a winner it is then used for the state competition, and if it is a winner again it is used for the national competition.
The application consists of:
- The two page application form
- The Four Generation ancestor chart
- The 500 word Patriotic Theme
Prizes and recognitions may also be awarded at the SAR Chapter and State levels.
Note: Applications are accepted during a calendar year for Schol- arships to be awarded in the Spring of the following year. The State Chairman gives specific deadlines for receipt of applications at Chapter and/or State levels.
The competition is conducted in three phases, local (Chapter), State (Society), and National. The competition is usually entered through the Chapter level. In some cases, the competition may be entered at the State level, but not enter at the National level only.
Tom & Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award
The Tom & Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award winner will represent a teacher whose instruction on the Revolutionary War era from 1750 – 1800 demonstrates educational efforts in the classroom that exceed and excel above current, accepted, curriculum requirements in a middle or high school setting, will be recognized for actively addressing the history of the American Revolutionary era. The Tom & Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award winner will represent a teacher whose instruction on the Revolutionary War era from 1750 – 1800 demonstrates educational efforts in the classroom that exceed and excel above current, accepted, curriculum requirements.
The Tom & Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award winner will be able to choose a trip to one of the following seminars;
- Freedoms Foundation Summer Teacher Graduate Workshop at Valley Forge, Pa.,
- Colonial Williamsburg Summer Teacher Workshop in Williamsburg, Va.,
- Jefferson Symposium at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., or
- SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution.
This award, valued at $1,400.00, will reimburse the winner for expenses including tuition, room and board, and transportation. The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution will provide this professional educational opportunity to an educator who will bring back to the classroom a heightened level of creativity and enthusiasm to their students of the American Revolutionary era.