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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The American Legion is inviting Kaiserslautern area high school students to compete in its annual speech contest. Winners in the national finals will receive substantial college scholarships.

Kaiserslautern Post No. 1 of The American Legion sponsors the Department of France Annual National High School Oratorical Contest, post commander John A. Johnson Jr. said.

The local competition takes place at 3 p.m. Jan. 24, at a place yet to be determined, Johnson said. Participation is free.

In the prepared oration portion of the contest, students must speak about some phase of the U.S. Constitution, emphasizing the duties and obligations of a citizen to the U.S. government. The speech must be the original effort of each contestant and must be eight to 10 minutes long.

Kaiserslautern Post No. 1 will award $500, $300 and $100 savings bonds to first-, second- and third-place finishers.

Scholarships of $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000 will be awarded to the first- through third-place finishers in the national finals.

Each state winner who competes in the first round of the national contest will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Participants in the second round who do not advance to the national final round will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship.

The top three youth orators who win all elimination rounds of the contest will vie for top honors in the national contest, set for April 3-4 in Indianapolis.

The American Legion will pay the expenses of state winners at the national contest.

Contest rules and other information are available at local high schools or by contacting the American Legion’s Joey Rodriguez or John A. Johnson Jr. at 0631-750-1204.

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