2019-2021 American Legion Auxiliary Junior Activities
The Junior Activities program inspires active participation in members age 17 and under so that they will become engaging, productive members who will want to continue their American Legion Auxiliary membership into adulthood.
What can you do?
This year I would like each of us to work on one very important goal as we work on all our other goals….and that is, GET OUR YOUTH BACK INTO OUR POSTS! If our children do not see us conduct our meetings and discuss the importance of taking care of our Veterans, how are they going to learn to do the same when they become or IF they even become senior members? Set up a room, a corner for them to hold their meeting at the same time, and have them beside you at yours as soon as possible so they can learn from you the important work that each of you do while at your meeting. And turn in their reported hours on what events you are asking for their help on. This too is very important in their learning about what we do. Plus, I would like to see our Junior members working on teaching our Senior members on how to use our electronic equipment properly, while you encourage them to hold things such as knitting classes to teach Juniors arts. We are a FAMILY organization. We need to make sure our Juniors are a part of that family in all of our units.
1) Get our Juniors with our Seniors while they are having meetings.
2) Sharing training between Juniors and Seniors. Build the Bridge of communication.
- RECORD THEIR HOURS AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEM AS RECORD HOURS! If they grow up knowing this system they will live it and understand it’s importance!
3) Build your Junior Activities program one member at a time by giving Junior members a voice and an opportunity to participate.
- Ask to speak at your post’s monthly meeting. Personally invite Legion members to sign up their daughter, granddaughters and great-granddaughters. Older Junior members could speak about the value of their membership to the post.
- Sign up your own eligible daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters.
- “Like” the national Junior Activities Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/alajuniors/). Share the posts to your friends and encourage them to sign up their eligible Juniors.
- Teach your Juniors about The American Legion Family’s eligibility requirements.
- Encourage your Juniors to invite their friends to attend ALA functions and volunteering opportunities, even if they are not eligible to join.
- If you don’t have Junior members of your own, be sure to support them anyway. Offer to help the Junior Activities chairman and participate in their fundraisers.
- If you are a unit officer or chairman, offer to mentor one of your unit’s Juniors. Teach her about your role with the ALA.
- Organize an active Juniors group. Give the Junior Activities chairman a budget to work with and space to hold meetings and fundraisers.
- Continually ask members to sign up their eligible daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters.
- Even if you only have one junior member, encourage her to organize a service project that your unit will participate in; it may attract other juniors to join.I
- Include information on Junior membership and activities in monthly newsletters.
- Include information on Junior membership in renewal notices.
4) Engage Juniors in programs of the American Legion Auxiliary.
- Bring your Junior(s) to a meeting with you. Ask your unit president if the Junior(s) can lead the Pledge.
- Mentor a Junior in your unit. Teach them about your role as an officer and chairman. Help them understand what we do and why it matters.
- Present any patches your Junior(s) earn at a unit meeting. They will be proud of their achievement and your fellow members will see what great work their Juniors are doing.
- Bring your Junior(s) to all appropriate ALA activities in which you participate. They can help distribute poppies, clean tables after dinners, etc.
- Older Junior members can mentor younger members by encouraging them to participate in Junior meetings, teaching them what they have learned about the ALA and our mission, and helping them earn their patches.
- Support and assist your Junior Activities chairman. Give her a budget to work with, space for meetings and fundraisers and be flexible with your activities so that Juniors can be involved. Provide her with an updated copy of the Junior Activities Handbook, which can be purchased from Emblem Sales or downloaded from the Junior Member Activities page in the Members Only section at www.ALAforVeterans.org.
- Post Junior activities on your unit or department Facebook page with approval from parents and Junior member.
- Encourage older Juniors to become mentors to younger Juniors.
5) Make Junior meetings fun and informative
- Junior members can help plan and lead the meeting to make it more fun and informative to their age group.
- Be flexible during your meetings. Robert’s Rules can be intimidating and boring for Juniors; there will be plenty of time for them to learn. Keep an orderly meeting, but don’t put too much emphasis on protocol.
- Plan activities that are fun, yet teach about the mission of the ALA. Remember, they are kids with short attention spans. Activities that involve light exercise are helpful to burn off their youthful energy. If you need ideas, ask a teacher; it might end up being a great win/win as you share ideas.
- Crafts are another good activity for Juniors. They can make poppy crafts for a fundraiser, patriotic decorations for your post or local veterans home, handmade cards to send to veterans at your local VA, etc.
- Have snacks and drinks on hand. Juniors could even make poppy cookies to snack on.
- Give your Juniors a place to display their crafts or artwork.
- Help your Junior Activities Chairman find places to distribute the cards and crafts made by Juniors.
- Offer to help during Junior meetings.
6) Promote and encourage Junior participation in the Patch Program.
- Mentor Juniors and help them to acquire patches. The Patch Program activities can be found on the Junior Member Activities page in the Members Only section at www.ALAforVeterans.org.
- Hold a special meeting to help Juniors earn patches.
- Older Juniors can help the younger Juniors earn patches.
- Encourage Juniors to participate in the Patch Program.
- Encourage use of electronic patches on Juniors’ social media sites.
- Give Junior members the opportunity to work on requirements for patches at unit functions.
Junior Activities Reporting
Mid-Year Report - Deadline is December 5, 2020. Reports should reflect the program work of units in the department. Each department Junior Activities chairman is required to submit a narrative report to the division Junior Activities chairman, plus copy the national Junior Activities chairman.
Year-End Report - Deadline is April 15, 2021. Annual reports reflect the program work of units in the department. Reporting may result in a national award for participants if award requirements are met. Each department Junior Activities chairman is required to submit a narrative report to the division Junior Activities chairman, plus copy the national Junior Activities chairman
As part of your narrative report, please include answers to the following questions:
- How has participation in the Patch Program increased enthusiasm among the Juniors?
- What are the various service projects in which Juniors were involved? Has participation in the service projects increased as the year has progressed?
- What type of volunteer hours did Junior members perform?
- What ways did your senior members mentor the Junior members?
- How does your unit plan to increase Junior member participation in meetings and activities?
- Please include pictures and news articles showing their activities.
Junior Activities Awards Deadlines and Submission Requirements:
- Please follow instructions as you fill out the National Report and Awards Cover Sheet found in the awards section of the Programs Action Plan.
- Provide details/examples about the activity as outlined in the award’s materials and guidelines section.
- Submit as indicated in the Annual Supplement to the Programs Action Plan.
National Report and Awards Cover Sheet, deadlines, and Junior Activities committee contact information may be found on the Junior Activities committee page on the national website, www.ALAforVeterans.org.
Junior Member of the Year
- Award: Engraved Plaque, invitation to National Convention
- Presented to: One Junior member, in recognition of her dedicated service, efforts, and talents
Materials and guidelines:
- Entries must be typed and include the following information:
- Consideration of only Junior members in good standing for the current year.
- Outstanding contribution the Junior has made through an ALA program or project.
- Length of membership is not a criterion.
- Name, email address, and complete mailing address of nominee must accompany nomination.
- A narrative, typed essay not to exceed 500 words summarizing the nominee’s accomplishments during the current administrative year.
- Please include pictures, clippings, scrapbooks, folders, etc., either electronically or via postal mail. Nomination must be signed by the candidate’s unit Junior Activities advisor.
- On the National Report and Award Cover Sheet, include the name and contact information of the department Junior Activities chairman.
Most Outstanding Unit Junior Activities Program
- Award: Citation Plaque
- Presented to: One unit in each division (5)
Materials and guidelines:
- Narrative not to exceed 1,000 words. Include specific examples of how your Juniors worked the ALA mission.
- May include pictures, news articles, news releases, etc.
Best Media Coverage of Activity or Project
- Award: Engraved Plaque
- Presented to: One Junior group (department, district or unit)
Materials and guidelines:
- Awarded to the Junior group with the best media coverage of their activities or a project.
- Narrative not to exceed 500 words. Include specific examples of media coverage, including news articles, news releases, newsletters, pictures of displays, ALA events, speeches, website address, social media activity, etc.
Programs and Activities:
- Requirements, instructions, and patch forms for the Junior Patch Program are available at www.ALAforVeterans.org.
- National Junior meetings will be held at the same time as Mission Training. Dates and meeting sites can be found at www.ALAforVeterans.org/meetings.
- Juniors who attend one of the national Junior meetings will be eligible to vote and run for Honorary National Junior Division Vice President (HNJDVP). Each of the elected HNJDVPs will help conduct the national Junior meetings and will receive a $2,000 scholarship.
- Spirit of Youth Scholarship for Junior members: Five scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each are awarded; one scholarship in each division. Requirements and applications are available at www.ALAforVeterans.org.
Additional Resources You Can Use
- ALA Junior Activities Handbook – available for free at www.ALAforVeterans.org, printed copies can be purchased through Emblem Sales at www.emblem.legion.org
- The national American Legion Auxiliary Junior Activities Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/ALAJuniors
- Junior Patch Program - information by level at www.ALAforVeterans.org
- ALA Unit Handbook – available for free at www.ALAforVeterans.org, printed copies can be purchased through Emblem Sales at www.emblem.legion.org
- Junior Leadership Course on www.ALAforVeterans.org
- Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation: A Guide for Volunteers on ALAforVeterans.org
- Protect Youth Sports – recommended by The American Legion to provide background screenings on adult volunteers who work with youth, www.protectyouthsports.com.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs information on student volunteers: www.volunteer.va.gov/StudentProgram.asp
- Your national Junior Activities Committee members (see Junior Activities program page on the national website or Annual Supplement for contact information).