Highland News Leader

Highland American Legion Post 439 seeks 2019 Americism youth program participants

An informational registration for the Lee Iten Post 439 Americanism programs will take place from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Lee Iten Post 439 home. Below is information about the various programs.


Senior team

Senior team players must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 2001. The senior team will play a league schedule and participate in tournaments, exhibition games and then enter the national tournaments ending with the World Series in Shelby, North Carolina Aug. 7-11.

Junior team

Junior players must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 2003. The junior team will play a league schedule and participate in tournaments, exhibition games and then enter the state tournament. The junior team won the state tournament in 2018.

.Junior freshman team

Freshman players must have been born on or after 2004. The Junior team will play a league schedule and participate in tournaments, exhibition games and then enter the state tournament.

The district also holds all-star games for the junior and senior programs against players from the 10th District in St. Louis. There were 95,000 young men participating in the national program for 2019. For more information, visit www.American Legion Baseball.org.

Boys state ‘a week that shapes a lifetime’

Boys state will be held June 13-19. 2020, at Eastern Illinois University. This is one of the premier Americanism programs the American Legion sponsors. All boys who have completed their junior year in high school and have one or more semesters in high school to complete after attending boys state are eligible.

Boys state is a unique lifetime experience. It is an opportunity for young men from all across the state to meet in a college campus environment with scholarships available. For more information check wwww.illinoisBoysState.org.

Oratorical scholarship program

The American Legion National High School Oratorical contest March 6-7, 2020, following successful department competition was first conducted as a national contest in 1938 with 11 states competing. In recent years, approximately 30,000 contestants have participated each year, representing 52 departments of the American Legion.

The purpose of this contest is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership, the ability to think and speak clearly, intelligently, and the preparation and acceptance of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship..

The Department of Illinois awards $13,075 in scholarships each year to department finalists. The national organization provides $125,000 in scholarships to the national finalists, semi-finalists and winners to the national finalists. For more information go to www.legion..org/oratorical/rules.

Youth police program

The primary purpose of the Youth Police Program held June 23-28, 2020, at Camp Lincoln in Springfield is to establish and create an interpersonal relationship between the youth of Illinois and state and law enforcement officers in order to create a better understanding of the problems and attitudes of both groups, and to develop a rapport between youth and the police.

This goal can be better accomplished by exposing these youths to law enforcement with an opportunity to objectively witness the rigid training and standards set forth in law enforcement today. The program gives the participant the opportunity to seek answers to questions that will help them better understand why police officers take certain actions that may directly or indirectly affect them.

During this program, these youths are given an opportunity and encouraged to express their feelings and views both in a classroom situation and in the daily informational sessions with their police counselors. Interested males and females must be age 14-16. Participants must have reached their 14th birthday, but not reached their 17th birthday, by June 23, 2020.

There is no cost to participate in any of the Americanism programs.

The baseball program is also looking for adults (with coaching and baseball experience) to coach and manage in the 2020 ball season. For information contact Wayne J. Wirz, Post 439 Americanism chairman, at 618-654-8419 or waynewirz@yahoo.com.