The Veterans of Foreign Wars is holding competitions for its Citizenship Education Teacher Award, its Voice of Democracy scholarship competition and its Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition.

Commander Douglas Crowell, of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6640 in Metairie, announced the competitions locally.

Nominations are open through Feb. 15 for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.

Every year, the VFW recognizes three teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. The three winners receive $1,000 for their professional development, $1,000 for their school and an all-expenses-paid trip to the VFW’s national convention in July.

Teachers of grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 compete at the local VFW Post level with the winners advancing to district. District winners compete in the state level competition with state first-place winners advancing to the national competition.

To nominate a teacher for this contest, contact the citizenship education chairman at VFW Post 6640 at (504) 467-7952, or email Doug Crowell at duncleug@aol.com. For information, visit www.vfw.org/TeacheroftheYear.

The Voice of Democracy scholarship competition offers high school students an opportunity to win college money and a trip to Washington, D.C.

Students must write and record a three-to-five minute essay on the selected theme using an audio CD or flash drive and present their recording, typed essay and completed entry form to their local VFW Post by Nov. 1. The 2015-16 theme is “My Vision For America.” Post winners compete at the district level, with the winner advancing to the state competition.

All state first-place winners receive a four-day trip to Washington, D.C. and the chance to compete for their share of more than $150,000 in scholarships. The first-place winner receives a $30,000 college scholarship.

Interested students and teachers may contact the Voice of Democracy chairman at VFW Post 6640 at (504) 467-7952, or email Doug Crowell at duncleug@aol.com. For information, visit www.vfw.org/VOD.

The Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition offers middle school students in grades 6-8 an opportunity to compete and win thousands of dollars in national awards.

Contestants will compose a 300- to 400-word essay on the theme “What Freedom Means to Me” by Nov. 1.

Students begin by competing at the local post level. Post winners advance to district competition, with district winners advancing to the state competition. State first-place winners compete for their share of thousands of dollars in awards, and the national first-place winner is awarded $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Interested students and teachers may contact the Voice of Democracy chairman at VFW Post 6640 at (504) 467-7952, or email Doug Crowell at duncleug@aol.com. For information, visit www.vfw.org/PatriotsPen.