The American Legion Auxiliary Tehachapi Unit 221 is proud to announce that Americanism essays submitted by two local students have won awards from the Department of California American Legion Auxiliary.

Maghan Saltzman received a cash prize and a scholarship for her Group 4 first place essay, "What Values Should Our Leaders Have?" Abbie Jaster won a cash prize for her second place Group 3 essay, "Why Do We Have The Constitution Of The United States?"

Both of the young ladies were given first place awards from the Tehachapi Unit and in the District before their essays were submitted to the department for judging.

Pat Gracey, Unit 221 Americanism chairman, presented Saltzman her certificate and check with her family, members of the Auxiliary, and Cmdr. Tony Strauss of American Legion Post 221 in attendance.

Jaster's check and certificate were presented to her by Steve Hansen, her ninth grade English teacher at Tehachapi High School.

The Auxiliary sponsors the essay contest yearly. At the beginning of each year information is delivered to each school in the area on the topic for each group. The groups are divided up as follows: Group I grades 4-5, Group II grades 6-7, Group III grades 8-9, Group IV grades 10-12, and Group V exceptional needs.

At the unit and district levels there is a cash prize for each first place winner and small gifts for each participant.

Gracey will start delivering materials to each school in our area beginning in January. She would love to see more teachers promote the essay contest in their classrooms and have more entries next year.

Linda Carmichael is Unit 221 president.