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For students in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade who know their stuff about the United States and Wisconsin government and laws, there’s an annual opportunity to “win some fairly easy money,” American Legion Post 385 Commander Stan Hook told the Press.

The Americanism and Government Scholarship Test is held annually by the Wisconsin American Legion.

Earlier this year, Caelyn Weaver, a going-to-be senior at Verona Area High School won $300 after testing as a junior in March.

Last year, a graduating VAHS senior – Tyler LeHam – won $750.

Students are given the opportunity to receive recognition and a monetary scholarship by taking an online test consisting of 50 multiple choice or true or false questions followed by an essay question that has to be answered in 300 words or less.

The questions test a student’s knowledge of U.S. government and history, county government, Wisconsin government and history, and flag etiquette.

The choice questions are scored by software. Then the Americanism and Government Testing program chair, along with a committee, selects the scholarship winners for each age group based on the essay question responses.

The Americanism Scholarship program is intended to “foster interest in all levels of government and citizenship and provides students with the opportunity to receive recognition and scholarship awards,” according to the Legion.

The program is endorsed by the Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction and is open to any Wisconsin student in any public, private, parochial, or home school within the State.

Thirty-three scholarships are awarded in total, 11 each to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

A total of 1,144 students registered for the exam this year, which was open from March 14 through March 25, with a total of 1,070 ultimately taking the test. Across Wisconsin, there were 185 schools represented, plus 13 homeschooled students participated.

The state of Wisconsin is split into 12 Districts. Verona is in the Third District, which includes the seven counties of Crawford, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, and Richland.

“We sure would like to see more kids from Verona participate in this and possibly win a scholarship,” Hook told the Press.

The dates of the 2023 test will be determined during an Oct. 14 Wisconsin American Legion meeting.

For more information on the Americanism and Government Scholarship Test, visit wilegion.org/oratorical-scholarships.

Reporter Neal Patten can be reached at npatten@wisconsinmediagroup.com

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