ROGERSVILLE — Northeast Tennessee high school students are invited by Hawkins County Post No. 21 of The American Legion to compete in the organization's annual National High School Oratorical Scholarship program.
The district Oratorical Contest, which focuses on the Constitution of the United States, will be held at Post 21, 1924 East Main Street, Rogersville, on Feb. 1 starting at 1 p.m.
Post 21 Commander Bill Jones said interested students must send an entry form, available from their school's principal or guidance department, to the American Legion, Department of Tennessee, by late January.
The contest involves two activities: a Prepared Oration (speech) and a 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, emphasizing the duties and obligations of citizens to the government of the United States.
The Prepared Oration must be the original effort of each contestant and must be 8-10 minutes in length.
In addition, Oratorical Contest participants will be required to prepare and present a three-to-five-minute speech on an Assigned Topic during the Feb. 1 district Oratorical Contest.
“Topics, which include the First, Fourth, 13th and 21st Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, will be drawn during the contest, so participants should be familiar with all four Amendments prior to the contest,” Jones said.
All contestants participating in the district contest, and not advancing to the division contest, will receive a $25 prize. District winners not advancing to the state finals, and participating in the division contest, will receive a $100 prize.
The state contest winner will receive a $3,000 scholarship award, while second place, a $2,000 scholarship, and third place, a $1,000 scholarship.
University scholarships of $18,000, $16,000, and $14,000 will be awarded to the first through third places in the National Finals.
Each State winner who competes in the first round of the National Contest will receive a $1,500 scholarship.
Participants in the second round who do not advance to the National Final round will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship.
The top three youth orators who have won all previous elimination rounds of the contest will vie for top honors in the National Contest, at the IUPUI Conference Center and Hotel, Indianapolis, In.
The American Legion will pay the expenses of State winners at the National Contest.
High school students in who are interested in entering the competition will find complete rules and contest information at their school guidance department office.
For more information call Jones at (423) 398-3406 or (828) 803-3594.