American Legion oratorical contest

High School students are encouraged to participate in the 2009 oratorical contest being sponsored here by American Legion Post 72. Principals, counselors, and teachers of English, social studies, and speech in Blount County public schools, as well as those who home school or work in private and parochial schools within the county, are urged to begin recruiting students now for the contest. The local Legion Post 72 is offering county-wide scholarship prizes for first-, second-, and third-place winners, who continue to the state level where prizes given for the top three are $5000, $3000, and $2000. National winners earn $18,000; $16,000; or $14,000.

The American Legion is paying travel and lodging costs for state winners and their chaperones to the national competiton in Indianapolis, April 17- 19. Each state winner who is certified and participates in the first round at nationals receives a $1500 scholarship. Each first-round winner who advances to and particpates in the second round but does not advance to the final round will receive an additional $1500 scholarship.

Local Post 72 says Alabama has produced only one national champion (Candice Neal in 2002) since 1938. Members feel Blount County can produce a national champion. Who will it be? They urge schools and interested participants to download copies of the Oratorical Rules Brochure by logging on program/youthprograms/oratorical.