Junior American Citizens
The Junior American Citizens Committee (JAC) is DAR’s second oldest youth-oriented committee, preceded only by the Children of the American Revolution. Students have participated in JAC since October 1901. The original objectives of this committee were: “To instill good citizenship in the youth of all races, creeds and economic backgrounds, by teaching loyalty to the United States of America, giving practical ideas for service to home, community, school, and country; thus encouraging a deeper sense of social responsibility and increasing interest in the study of Civics, Social Studies and the History of the U.S.A.” Reaching out to students in grades K-12 across America, the committee fosters the idea that the rights and responsibilities of citizenship can, and should, be taught from an early age.
The JAC Contest is open to all students in preschool through high school, students in public, private, and parochial schools as well as in sanctioned home-study programs, including those students who may be physically or mentally challenged or in gifted/talented programs. Youth groups may also participate. This contest is conducted without regard to gender, race, religion, or national origin. Any school, organization, or person can participate in the JAC Contest using the materials provided free of charge, under the sponsorship of the local DAR chapter. There is no cost to participants. For more information about the JAC Contest, contact the DAR at (202) 628-1776 or contact your local chapter.
American History Contest
DAR chapters are encouraged to conduct the American History Essay Contest in public, private, and parochial schools, and registered home-study programs. Students in grades five through eight are encouraged to participate. Each year a selected topic for use during the academic year is announced and contest instructions are sent to the schools by participating chapters. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness.
Participating chapters send one winning essay from each of the four grades for judging on the state level. The state will send one winning essay from each of the four grades to be judged on a regional level. The winning essay from each of the four grades will then be judged on the national level and the winners are announced. To find a chapter in your area to sponsor essays, visit the chapter page.
Christopher Columbus Essay
DAR joined with The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in 1966 to sponsor an annual national essay contest. The DAR administers this contest, which is open to students in grades nine through twelve. Each year the DAR and the NIAF agree upon a topic for use during the academic year and contest instructions are sent to the schools by participating DAR chapters. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness. Judging at the national level is supervised by the NIAF.
One winning essay from all those submitted is sent from the participating chapters, for judging on the state level. The state will send one winning essay to be judged on the division level. The winning essay from each division is then judged on the national level and the winner is announced. Second and third place winning essays are selected on the national level. To find a chapter in your area to sponsor essays, visit the chapter page.