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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois

Americanism

Patti Williamson
Williamson.patti@aol.com
217-377-3708

This year our motto will be “Let Teaching Patriotism be Our Superpower.” In order to be an effective teacher, you must first know and un understand the material. Immerse yourself in every facet of the Americanism program. You can start with your junior members whether they are organized or just a member’s daughter or granddaughter and have them lead the Pledge during a meeting, advance the flag and Auxiliary banner, or help in a flag disposal ceremony. All these activities will help them receive their Junior Americanism Patches.

Let’s teach patriotism to the children in our communities by distributing the Americanism essay contest rules when they are available in the fall. The essay title is, “Why am I proud to be an American?” Teachers have told me that they are more likely to assign the essay if it fits into their teaching plan so I always try to get them before veterans day. Please be sure to follow the rules carefully so no essay must be disqualified. Contact other youth groups in your community like Scouts 4H FFA and hand out the essay contest rules to their leaders or directly to the students. Encourage students to participate in the oratorical contest. The subject matter is always about the constitution and the finals are held the first weekend in March. Work with schools and members to use wreaths across America patriotic curriculum. Go to www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org and scroll down to educate and click on curriculum and lesson plans for kindergarten through 12th grade are available, all with lesson plans and some power points. For example, first grade:

- Flag Day Lesson plan
- Memorial Day lesson plan
- What is Memorial Day power point (grades K-3)
- The Missing Man Table (Grades K-3)
- Women's History Month Lesson Plan
- Black History Month Lesson Plan
- Buffalo Soldiers PowerPoint (Grades K-3)
- Four Chaplains Lesson Plan
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Lesson Plan
- Remember - Honor - Teach Lesson Plan
- Informative Writing and "Finding a way to Serve"
- Veterans Day PowerPoint (K-3)
- Veterans Day Lesson Plan
- American Indian Heritage Month
- April, Month of the Military Child (Grades 1-3)
- Independence Day (Grades K-8)
- Back To School
- Patriot Day Lesson Plan
- Voting in Elections (Grades K-3)

I have with me the complete curriculum for anyone interested in seeing it but again you can download it. This would be something great to share with our junior members and interesting to share with our senior members.

Promote Star Spangled Kids. The Sergeant-at-arms and assistants are passing out a simple “How to sheet”. Star Spangled Kids teaches about patriotism, Americanism and the U.S. Constitution. Do you know that September 17th is set aside each year to commemorate the signing of the Constitution?

Let us educate our members and communities about flag etiquette including the proper way it should be flown. Consider giving citations and recognition to citizens and businesses in your community if they are properly displaying a flag. Offer to replace torn or worn flags when possible. Off of the National website you can get “Let ‘s be Right Flag Etiquette “and make them available in your Post home. Put something in your newsletters or on your Facebook page about display of the flag or little-known facts about the flag, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Join the National Facebook group at American Legion Auxiliary Americanism Program. This is a place to get ideas and share ideas. On the National Webpage thereis also a link to Action Programs of Americanism Brochure on the American Legion website that can be downloaded or printed for free but is 16 pages long. This brochure is a comprehensive look at The American Legion Americanism Programs. They include Legion Baseball, shooting sports, scouting and many more. Look through the brochure and find ways to help with these programs in your area. Work concession stands, be a timekeeper, keep statistics, offer transportation, you get the idea and have many of your own, I’m sure.

Let us educate our political leaders on the importance of respecting our flag. On the National Website in the Americanism committee page, you can find information on the Citizens Flag Alliance and The Flag Advocacy. Email your congressmen and senators about not being able to desecrate the flag, explain the blood shed for them to keep all the freedoms they enjoy and the importance of the flag to our men and women defending those rights. Sign up for the action alerts so you can be informed of any bills involving the flag that need action.

Let teaching patriotism be our superpower!

Awards:

National:

Department Award: to the Best Department Americanism Program in the Central Division.

Unit Award: Most outstanding Unit Americanism Program in the Central Division.

Department:

RICKY’S COUNTRY GIRLS PLAQUE: to the Unit submitting the most outstanding participation on promoting the Americanism Program to the schools.

THE DORIS SCHULTZ “GOD BLESS AMERICA” PLAQUE: TOoThe Unit for the best overall participation in the Americanism program.

SERVE AND PROTECT CADET OF THE YEAR PLAQUE: to the outstanding cadet at American Legion Police School/ The plaque and a picture of the cadet will be presented at the Youth Police School and reported during the Americanism report at Department Convention.

Personal Awards:

$10.00 to Runner up to the Ricky’s Country Girls Plaque.

$10.00 to Runner up to the Doris Schultz “God Bless America” Plaque

$10.00 to Most Americanism essays turned into a unit as reported to me.

$10.00 to the Best Star Spangled Kids promotion.

Certificates to any Unit promoting the Star Spangled Kids.

All of the Department and personal awards must be on an awards sheet or have an awards sheet accompany a narrative and received by the deadline.



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