VFW Patriot’s Pen essay contest winners



The Plymouth VFW Post 5612 held an awards ceremony to honor this year’s local Patriot’s Pen Writing Contest winners. This yearly competition is open to all students, in grades 6-8, who are enrolled in public, private or parochial schools, and home study programs in the United States and its territories. Connie Mertens, a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher at Riverview Middle School in Plymouth, initiated this year’s contest with her students to integrate another quality writing project into her American History classes. “This contest gave students a chance to express their personal opinions about a patriotic theme while, at the same time, working to improve their writing skills. It’s a great opportunity for our students, and I’m so proud of their efforts.” Each student was required to write their own original essay between 300-400 words in length. The theme of the 2013-2014 essay was “What Patriotism Means to Me.” Plymouth Post Commander Jake Henschel stated he was very impressed with the overwhelming response and quality of the essays. “It was a long, tough job for the judges, and every single essay was read and considered… but in the end there was just something special about the winning essays that stood out. Some students wrote very moving essays about Sept. 11, 2001, and those students were obviously too young at that time to remember the events, so it was clear they had researched their topics extensively.” The winning essays were selected from over 150 entries. Contestants were judged on their knowledge of the topic, clarity of ideas, and theme development. The Plymouth post gave out cash awards: first place received $75; second place $50; and third place $25. The essays were read aloud, and a dinner and social hour followed the awards ceremony. The winning entries were sent on to the VFW District competition for a chance at the state level competition and additional awards. Shown here with Henschel (second from right) are (left to right) Keely Kuru, third place winner, seventh grade, daughter of William and Susan Kuru; Elsa Blad, second place winner, seventh grade, daughter of Jordan and Leslie Blad; and Luci Hoitink, first place winner, eighth grade, daughter of Vicki Finlan. 
Submitted photo The Plymouth VFW Post 5612 held an awards ceremony to honor this year’s local Patriot’s Pen Writing Contest winners. This yearly competition is open to all students, in grades 6-8, who are enrolled in public, private or parochial schools, and home study programs in the United States and its territories. Connie Mertens, a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher at Riverview Middle School in Plymouth, initiated this year’s contest with her students to integrate another quality writing project into her American History classes. “This contest gave students a chance to express their personal opinions about a patriotic theme while, at the same time, working to improve their writing skills. It’s a great opportunity for our students, and I’m so proud of their efforts.” Each student was required to write their own original essay between 300-400 words in length. The theme of the 2013-2014 essay was “What Patriotism Means to Me.” Plymouth Post Commander Jake Henschel stated he was very impressed with the overwhelming response and quality of the essays. “It was a long, tough job for the judges, and every single essay was read and considered… but in the end there was just something special about the winning essays that stood out. Some students wrote very moving essays about Sept. 11, 2001, and those students were obviously too young at that time to remember the events, so it was clear they had researched their topics extensively.” The winning essays were selected from over 150 entries. Contestants were judged on their knowledge of the topic, clarity of ideas, and theme development. The Plymouth post gave out cash awards: first place received $75; second place $50; and third place $25. The essays were read aloud, and a dinner and social hour followed the awards ceremony. The winning entries were sent on to the VFW District competition for a chance at the state level competition and additional awards. Shown here with Henschel (second from right) are (left to right) Keely Kuru, third place winner, seventh grade, daughter of William and Susan Kuru; Elsa Blad, second place winner, seventh grade, daughter of Jordan and Leslie Blad; and Luci Hoitink, first place winner, eighth grade, daughter of Vicki Finlan. Submitted photo

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