Oratorical contest winner Ranina Searles, center, with Parents, Post Chairman Gwendolyn Austin, County Commander Paul Zimarowski and Department Executive Committeeman Philip Wien.Renina won Post, County and second at District for 2011. For 2012, Renia has won Post, County and will compete at District in February 2012. The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former president candidate Alan Keyes and CNN anchor Lou Dobbs. Post sponsored Oratorical Contestant Raina Searles of Rancocas Valley High School won the Department (State) level Oratorial Contest at the War Memorial Building on March 31, 2012. Congratulation goes out to Raina and her parents. She will be picking up a $4,000.00 Scholarship from the Department of New Jersey. Raina will now move on to the National Finals in Indianapolis, Indiana from April 13th to 15th, 2012. We all are pulling for Raina to take National. Another purpose of the program is to assist students in paying the high cost of a college education. The first place winner takes home $18,000. The Oratorical contest was developed primarily to instill a better knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States in high school students. Other objectives include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly, and the preparation for acceptance of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. Another purpose of the program is to assist students in paying the high cost of a college education. The first place winner takes home $18,000 and the next two finishers receive $16,000 and $14,000. First round participants in the National Contest receive a $1,500 scholarship. Second round participants who do not advance to the final round will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship The New Jersey Contest will award a $4,000 scholarship for the first place winner, $2,500 for second place, $2,000 for third place and $1,000 each for forth and fifth place. The New Jersey winner will advance to the National Finals Contests, a weekend’s competition of Quarter-final, Semi- final and National final contests that are held in the headquarters city of The American Legion, Indianapolis, Indiana. The 2013 Contests will be held April 19-21, 2013,  University Place Conference Center and Hotel, Fort McHenry is located near Baltimore's Inner Harbor area. The fort's history dates to the Revolutionary War in 1776 when Baltimore residents feared a British attack, so a fort was made at the site from mounds of dirt. Baltimore was spared from an attack during the Revolutionary War, prompting the military to construct a sturdier Fort McHenry. It was named for James McHenry, a politician who secured most of the funds for the project. Fort McHenry gained its place in history during the War of 1812 when the British mounted an attack on Baltimore. British forces bombarded Fort McHenry for 25 hours and eventually gave up when they could not destroy the fort. Francis Scott Key saw the events unfold and noticed the fort's American flag was still flying despite the attack. He commemorated the Battle of Fort McHenry with a poem that was later set to music and called "The Star Spangled Banner." There is a monument to Francis Scott Key and "The Star Spangled Banner" at Fort McHenry today. The fort is a popular destination for field trips by Baltimore area schoolchildren. In addition to being open to the public for tours, a group of re-enactors known as the Fort McHenry Guard dress in period garb and help interpret Fort McHenry's past and place in history. The Fort McHenry tunnel, a major infrastructure project that carries Interstate 95 under the Patapsco River, passes just south of Fort McHenry.
Ranina Searles,
Oratorical contest winner 2012 
Eligible participants in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program shall be citizens of or lawful permanent residents of the United States.
All contestants must be bona fide students herein described as any student under the age of twenty (20) years on the date of the national contest who is presently enrolled in a high school or junior high school (public, parochial, military, private or home school) in which the curriculum of said school is considered to be of high school level, commencing with grade nine (9) and terminating with grade twelve (12). Students must be enrolled in high school or junior high school during the time of participation at any level of The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program
Oratorical contest winner 2013
Ranina Searles a senior at Rancocas Valley Regional High School won the Oratorical contest  at County, District  and placed second in the State competition.
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