Staff Report

A Voice of Democracy Essay Contest is open to all students in grades 9-12. Students compete by writing and recording a broadcast script on the theme “Is Our Constitution Still Relevant?” Students wishing to enter must do a three to five minute essay on a standard cassette tape or CD. Songs and poetry not accepted. Please do not identify yourself in the recording. If you choose to record it on a CD, please play it back on a system other than your computer to verify that your burn process was successful. All recordings must be in the student’s own voice without music or special effects of background sounds. Songs and poetry not accepted.

Label your tape/CD and include a neatly typed copy of the essay along with your completed entry form. Entry forms may be obtained by visiting (scholarships) or by contacting Bill Forrest at 677-9559.

The completed form and tape/CD can be mailed to Bill Forrest, 6931 Cohasset Circle, Riverview, FL 33578 or dropped off in a sealed envelope at VFW Post 8108, 7504 Riverview Dr., in Riverview.

An essay writing contest, Patriot’s Pen will be held for 6-8 grade students. Students compete by writing

their own essay 300-400 typewritten words. Essay can not be less than 300 words and not more than 400 words. This year’s theme is “What I Would Tell America’s Founding Fathers”.

You will be judged on how well you understand, develop and present the theme. You must answer all the relevant facts about the them such as who, what, where, when and why. Write your essay in an easy to understand format leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your explanation of the theme.

If you would like to enter, you can pick up an entry form at or call 677-9559. The completed essay and entry form must be turned in to Norrine Forrest, 6931 Cohasset Circle, Riverview, FL 33578.

For both contests, there will be a panel of three judges not affiliated with the Post. A special dinner will be held at a later date for all students that enter at that time a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner will receive a monetary award. All entries competing at the Post level must be turned in no later than Thursday, November 1.

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.