Shaping a positive future for our veterans, our military and their families.

Americanism

Department of Alaska
Americanism Chairman - 2017-2018
Barb Nath

2017-2018 American Legion Auxiliary Americanism

WHAT IS THE PROGRAM AND WHY DO WE HAVE IT?

The Americanism program is to promote patriotism and responsible citizenship. This helps us to fulfill our brand program by giving our citizens a chance to participate in our mission by feeling patriotic and demonstrating their support in an active and visible way.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

There are three different opportunities through our Plan of Action which you can use to promote Americanism. Below are ideas for each of these opportunities. Find the area that fits your unit and then work on that throughout the year. These are just suggestions and if you have other activities/ideas please feel free to use them.

1. Be knowledgeable on flag history, etiquette and proper disposal methods; and promote the observation of patriotic holidays so your community will look to the ALA for information.

IDEAS:

Members

  • Publish the flag etiquette tips in your newspaper and on social media.
  • Model respect for our flag at public events, such as sporting events.
  • Visit schools to give basic facts regarding our flag, national anthem and when we stand and put our hands over our hearts at parades and ball games.
  • Help to further education at schools regarding the Constitution (either whole or in part).
  • Volunteer for a local patriotic event.
  • Sign up to receive notifications on when to display your flag at half-staff (www.legion.org).
  • Contact and ask state and federal representatives to support the flag amendment.
  • Recruit others to support the flag amendment.
  • Sign up for legislative action alerts.
  • Vote – take family members with you.
  • Assemble pocket flags to be distributed by units.

Units

  • Work with your Post to increase respect. Invite the public to participate in a flag disposal ceremony.
  • Teach proper handling, displaying and respect for the American flag, and our National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Organize or participate in a patriotic holiday event.
  • Encourage local businesses to fly an American flag, especially on patriotic holidays.
  • Encourage members to fly an American flag at their home.
  • Volunteer to maintain the area around a community flag pole.
  • Provide American flags to your local schools for their classrooms.
  • Order pocket flag kits and distribute to members for assembly.
  • Identify and distribute assembled pocket flags to active-duty military overseas.
  • Encourage members to contact state and federal representatives and ask them to support the flag amendment.
  • Encourage members to participate in “Get Out The Vote” and “Kids Voting USA” campaigns.
  • Help to further education at schools regarding the Constitution (either whole or in part)
2. Increase participation in the Americanism Essay Contest. This year’s theme is “What can I personally do to promote Americanism in my school or community?”

IDEAS:

Members

  • Encourage your children/grandchildren to participate in the essay contest.
  • Offer to contact schools or other organizations.
  • Help judge the essays.

Unit

  • Contact schools and other organizations such as Young Marines, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and 4-H about the essay contest.
  • Encourage Junior members to participate in the essay contest.
  • Create information packets explaining contest rules, deadline dates, theme, and award opportunities.
  • Contact the essay winner and their parents. Invite the parents to bring their child to your next Auxiliary meeting to read his/her winning essay.
  • Work with school administration to identify guidance counselors, history teachers, etc. whose students would be interested in participating.
    • Arrange for a day with the schools (preferably during a student assembly) to present the essay winners with their prizes. Provide cash award and/or savings bond.
    • Invite media to attend the event.

3. Participate in the promotion of American Legion Americanism programs.

IDEAS:

Member

  • Support American Legion Baseball
    • Help, work, donate or find donors.
  • Support the Oratorical Contest
    • Recruit candidates, help prepare to host a contest, be a judge, and provide refreshments or transportation.
  • Support the Junior Shooting Sports, which promotes gun safety and marksmanship training for youth.
    • Recruit candidates, volunteer at event.

Unit

  • Work with Post and/or Department Americanism chairman.
  • Support American Legion Baseball.
    • Be a sponsor, volunteer, hold fundraisers, and provide transportation.
  • Support the Oratorical Contest either at your Post level or Department level.
    • Volunteer, host, recruit candidates.
  • Support Junior Shooting Sports, which promotes gun safety and marksmanship training for youth.
    • Volunteer, host, recruit candidates.

AMERICANISM REPORTING

Mid-Year Reports -- Due December 5, 2017. Each Unit Americanism Chairman is required to submit a narrative report by December 5, 2017 to the Department Americanism Chairman.

Year-End Reports -- Due April 15, 2018. Each Unit Americanism Chairman is required to submit a narrative report by April 15, 2018 to the Department Americanism Chairman.

There are two parts to your reports. Once is a narrative report and the other is a statistical report.

As part of your narrative report, please include answers to the following questions:

  • How did you promote the Americanism essay contest?
  • How did units promote the flag program?
  • How did you promote patriotic holidays?
  • How did units encourage support of the flag amendment?
  • Did units support American Legion Americanism programs? How?
  • How did units promote Americanism in their community?

As part of your statistics report please complete the included form

Unit 33 has come up with a statistical report that provides information in a clear and concise manner. I have adjusted their report a little bit so that it can work for all units. It is an excel spreadsheet and I’ve set it up so that it will provide totals at the bottom or each column. The activities listed in the report are just ideas and you can personalize them to what your unit has actually done.


AMERICANISM AWARDS

Unit Award: Dorothy Pearl Most Outstanding Americanism Program

  • One unit Americanism chairman that reports the most outstanding Americanism program targeted to children and youth.
  • Attach award cover sheet and including name of award, as well as name and contact information for the Unit Americanism chairman.
  • Must be typewritten in narrative format, not to exceed 1,000 words.
  • Include no more than five pictures and five news articles.
  • Must be submitted by the Department Americanism Chairman to the National Americanism Chairman.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES YOU CAN USE

  1. Emblem Sales: www.emblem.legion.org - flag education DVD: explains the history, significance, meaning, proper display and treatment of the U.S. flag. Let’s Be Right on Flag Etiquette - a “question and answer” booklet on proper flag etiquette.
  2. The American Legion Flag Advocacy: www.legion.org/flag
  3. The American Legion’s Action Programs of Americanism brochure: www.legion.org/publications
  4. Capitol Building flags: To order flags flown over the Capitol, contact your congressional representative or senator or visit his/her website. Flags are available for a nominal fee; four to six weeks should be allowed for delivery.
  5. Promote the Pocket Flag Project. www.pocketflagproject.com

 

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