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Teacher Award

Recognize Teachers Who Care About America

Founded in 1899, the Veterans of Foreign Wars is concerned with the education of America’s youth. VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary have developed a slate of programs dedicated to this endeavor. VFW’s Citizenship Education program stimulates interest in America’s history, traditions, institutions, civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism.

VFW wants to identify and recognize America’s best educators who instill a sense of national pride in students. VFW offers cash awards, commemorative plaques and all-expenses-paid trips to a national VFW conference for these worthy teachers. The trip will provide an opportunity for winners to exchange ideas.

Teachers care deeply about America and its children. They’re concerned about the perpetuation of America’s noblest traditions and highest ideals. Wouldn’t you like to see them get the honor they deserve? Now you can.

Promoting Citizenship Education

VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top classroom elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly teaching (at least half of the school day in a classroom environment) and promote America’s history, traditions and institutions effectively.

Teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism are prime candidates for this award. For example, do you know a teacher who plans field trips to city hall or organizes community volunteer projects? Maybe you know an instructor who invites veterans into the classroom to discuss their military experiences. Perhaps you are familiar with a teacher who fosters the development of democratic values and beliefs through special projects. If you know of such a teacher, honor him or her today with the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.

How Does the Contest Work?

Based on the nominees submitted, VFW’s local chapters, called Posts, will recognize one outstanding teacher in grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Posts then submit these winners’ names to their District-level judging, who will forward their winners to the Department (or state) level. After judging, each Department then forwards the names of its winners to VFW National Headquarters for consideration in the national awards contest.

Who is eligible?

All current classroom teachers (teaching at least half of the school day in a classroom environment) in grades K-12 are eligible. Previous state and national VFW winners are ineligible. Nominations can be submitted by fellow teachers, supervisors or other interested individuals (not relatives). Self-nominees are not eligible.

How are teachers nominated?

Fill out the nomination form contained in this brochure. In 350 words or less, describe why you feel your nominee should be selected. Describe the teacher’s innovative teaching and resource development methods, as well as his or her dedication to education. Please submit your completed nomination form and signed essay to your local VFW Post. Check the phone book for Post locations or call VFW’s Programs Department at (816) 756-3390 to find the Post nearest to you.

 All Post-level nominees, if they win, should provide a one-page resume, up to five pages of documentation of their teaching experience (references, news articles) and a head-and-shoulder photo of themselves.

When is the deadline?

Nominations must be received by November 1 by your local VFW Posts, which conduct judging from November 2-15.

What are the National awards?

Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award includes the items below:

• A national $1,000 Past Commander-in-Chief John Smart award for each of the top K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 teachers for professional development expenses.

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

• Plaques for both the winning teacher and school.

• An all-expenses-paid trip to attend a VFW and Ladies Auxiliary National Conference.

Nominate Someone Deserving

Have a teacher in mind? Fill out the nomination form and submit it to your local VFW Post. The investment that a teacher makes in today’s youth will be the dividends we will all reap from future leaders.

Teachers Award Form