VFW In The Classroom
How does the VFW help young students?
The VFW strives to thank our nation’s educators year-round by arming them with helpful resources and visits to local classrooms. Loving America and all it stands for is what we do best. Let us help you educate our future leaders.

Veterans and their experiences play an important role in educating our nation's youth about the founding principles upon which this country was founded. The principles they've fought to protect. War can sometimes be a delicate subject for teachers and students. Through VFW's Veterans in the Classroom community outreach initiative, a VFW member is able to assist the teacher in conveying a variety of American history lessons. Our members are "living history" and can provide students with insight into the great sacrifices our service members make to maintain freedom for all of us. When called upon to participate in a classroom lesson, a member would prepare a brief introduction, a main presentation and a Q&A session. Depending on the lesson, a veteran may bring appropriate memorabilia, uniforms, photographs and other relevant material. People of all ages take great interest in the history of our country, and who better to help expand that interest than those who helped shape it?

If you're an educator interested in persuing this opportunity, please contact your local VFW Post for more information.
2018-2019 Awards
Voice of Democracy (VOD)

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. 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.



Voice of Democracy

Oral Essay Program - Awarded $300.00
Local Area Winner



Voice of Democracy

Oral Essay Program - Awarded $200.00
Local Area Winner



Voice of Democracy

Oral Essay Program - Awarded $100.00
Local Area Winner

Patriot's Pen (PP)

Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $54,500, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. 

The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.



Patriot's Pen

Essay Writing Contest - Awarded $100.00
Local Area Winner



Patriot's Pen

Essay Writing Contest - Awarded $75.00
Local Area Winner



Patriot's Pen

Essay Writing Contest - Awarded $50.00
Local Area Winner


Classroom Certificates

The VFW strives to thank our nation’s educators year-round by arming them with helpful resources and visits to local classrooms. Loving America and all it stands for is what we do best. Let us help you educate our future leaders. Veterans and their experiences play an important role in educating our nation’s youth about the founding principles upon which this country was founded.



Voice of Democracy

VOD Teacher
Certificate Winner



Patriot's Pen

PP Teacher
Certificate Winner



C-FC Principal

Certificate Winner
C-FC Principal

Teacher of the Year

The VFW Teacher of the Year award contest recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Each year, a classroom elementary, junior high and high school teacher whose curriculum focuses on citizenship education topics — for at least half of the school day in a classroom environment — can be nominated for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.



Teacher of the Year

Certificate Winner - Award $300
Local Area Winner

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