The Sons of the American Revolution is encouraging students and educators to submit applications for its various awards, some with cash prizes worth thousands of dollars.
SAR is a congressionally chartered organization founded in 1876 to educate the public about the American Revolution. SAR sponsors annual award programs designed for both K-12 students and educators.
“These awards encourage civic responsibility and duty, creative and effective teaching practices for the classroom, and a deeper understanding of the complicated issues surrounding the war for American independence,” the organization’s official website states.
Most of the SAR award contests begin at the local, chapter level before winners advance to the national level, with winners typically announced at the annual SAR Congress.
Arthur M. and Berdena King Eagle Scout Contest: All current Eagle Scouts, 18 years old or younger, can apply. Each applicant must submit the application form, a four-generation ancestor chart and a 500-word patriotic-themed essay. The national first place winner will receive $10,000 and will appear at the SAR Annual Congress. Prize money of varying amounts will be awarded to the top 15 applicants. Applications for this year’s contest will close on Dec. 31.
Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest: This contest is open to all high school students. Each applicant must write a speech of five to six minutes in length. The speech must be delivered from memory without any notes or props. The national winner will receive $8,000, second place will receive $5,000, and third will receive $3,000. Information about deadlines and applications can be found through local SAR chapters.
ROTC/JROTC and Other Cadet Recognition Program: This contest is available for ROTC and JROTC cadets who exemplify superior leadership qualities. The winner will receive a $5,000 prize, second-place $2,000, and third-place $1,000. Contact the local SAR chapter for more information.
Elementary School Poster Contest: This contest is open for students 3rd-5th grade. Applicants should submit a poster using the annual theme and demonstrate research and understanding which accurately reflects the historical event the poster illustrates. The top three posters will receive a ribbon, certificate and an undetermined cash prize. Posters must be submitted no later than June 1.
George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest: This contest is open to all high school students, who must submit an 800-1,200 word essay based on an event, person, philosophy or ideal associated with the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15.
Sgt. Moses Adams Memorial Middle School Brochure Contest: Any middle schooler can apply to this contest by submitting a tri-fold brochure about one of the following foundational documents of the United States:
- Articles of Association of 1774
- The Virginia Declaration of Rights 1776
- Declaration of Independence 1776
- Articles of Confederation 1777-81
- General Washington’s Resignation as Commander of the Continental Army 1783
- U.S. Constitution 1787
- Federalist Papers 1788
- Bill of Rights 1791
- President Washington’s Farewell Address 1796
Cash prizes are determined by local chapters. If interested in applying contact the local SAR chapter for further information.
Dr. Tom and Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award: This contest invites all middle and high school American history teachers to submit a written essay of up to 1,000 words discussing the importance of teaching the American Revolution. The national winners from both the middle and high school levels will receive up to $3,000 for tuition and travel expenses to attend one of several teacher seminars put on by SAR. The winners also will receive $1,000 for their personal use and an additional $1,000 in reimbursement for travel expenses if the teacher is invited to an SAR Congress or Leadership Meeting. See the local SAR chapter for further details.