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As the summer comes to an end, the Education Department of Post 524 is preparing for the upcoming school year. First on our agenda is the annual coloring contest for the 4th and 5th graders at the intermediate school. The students will receive their pictures around mid to late October and their entries are due back before the Thanksgiving break. The pictures are judged by the committee and prizes awarded before the Christmas vacation. Prizes include tickets to Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and to Playland’s Castaway Cove and edible treats from both Shriver's and Johnson's Popcorn. We have wonderful merchants in Ocean City who are always willing to donate to our causes.

After the Christmas break, we start our search for candidates for the Boys State Program. This program gives students the opportunity to spend a week at Rider University involving themselves in the workings of government at the local, county and state levels.  Hopefully, this year we will achieve our goal of sending ten students to the program. So far, the Post’s previous best has been six students. We are looking for high school boys that will be juniors this year. I would like to encourage our own members of the Post 524 family to let me know if they have sons and grandsons, or know of anyone else that may be interested in attending.

I will also be reminding our membership, at upcoming meetings, about our $1000 Annual Scholarship awarded every year to a graduating senior at Ocean City High School. We prefer giving this award to the son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter of one of our members. Last year’s scholarship was awarded to Ms. Maddie Crowell who will be attending Loyola University in Maryland. Maddie is the granddaughter of Jack and Eunice Kreider and the daughter of Michael and Barbie Crowell.

We will, again, be working with Ms. Cassidy Diamond on the Oratorical Competition. Last year, after winning the county, district and state contests, she advanced to the national finals. Those of us who were there to watch her performance were very pleased with her effort.

Cassidy was one of the youngest in the field of fifty-four students that were in the competition.  We learned a lot when we were in Indianapolis, and we have already started refining her oration. We know what we have to do to make it better and hopefully she will again win the state competition and return to compete at the Nationals.  I will, again, be inviting the membership to her practice sessions which will be held either at the post or the Ocean City library. To date, Cassidy has won almost six thousand dollars in scholarship monies competing in this contest.

Ken Riggione

Education Chairman, Post 524