As part of a national initiative, Brownwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3278 is hosting three contests for area teachers and students.

The first award will Recognize Teachers Who Care about America, and honor an outstanding teachers working in grades kindergarten through fifth; sixth through eighth; and ninth through 12th.

All current classroom teachers, who teach at least half the school day in a classroom environment are eligible. Nominations can be submitted by fellow teachers, supervisors and other interested individuals who are not relatives. Previous state and national VFW winners as well as self-nominees are not eligible.

Nomination forms will be available at all participating schools. If unavailable, forms can be obtained by calling Marcie Simmons at 642-6048. The nomination process includes an opportunity to describe why a specific teacher should be selected.

The Brownwood post must receive all nomination forms no later than Nov. 1, and will conduct judging from Nov. 2-15.

After being recognized at the post level, winners’ names will be forwarded to the district, state and national levels for judging.

If a local teacher’s nomination is forwarded to the national competition, that individual could receive one of the following National Citizenship Education Teacher Awards:

• A national $1,000 Past Commander-in-Chief John Smart award for teachers in kindergarten through grade 5, grades six through eight, and grades nine through 12, to be used for professional development expenses.

• A $1,000 award for each teacher’s school.

• Plaques for both the winning teacher and school.

• An all-expense-paid trip to attend a VFW and Ladies Auxiliary national conference.

The second, the Voice of Democracy, an oral essay contest, is open to students in grades nine through 12. The theme of this year’s contest is Does America Still Have Heroes?

The deadline for this contest is Nov. 1. Rules, guidelines and entry forms for this contest can be obtained from participating schools, by contacting Simmons, or by visiting www.vfw.org.

Patriot’s Pen, a written essay contest, is open to all students in grades six through eight. This year’s theme is When Is The Right Time To Honor Our Military Heroes?

The deadline is also Nov. 1 and contest, rules, guidelines and entry forms can be obtained from participating schools or by contacting Simmons, or visiting www.vfw.org.