A Legion Oratorical family

Dallas, PA

The Ciaccias, Paul and Kristen, have seven children. Each year one of the children participates in the American Legion Oratorical Contest sponsored by Dallas Post 672. Paul won a $4,000 scholarship by placing third in the state. Mary, Grace, Joe and Mary Therese have participated. They have been home-schooled and have done well education-wise. Mrs. Ciaccia has stated, "The Legion Oratorical Contest is hands-down the most fruitful and impactful academic exercise my children have participated in during their entire high school career. They each have read the Constitution and supporting documents several times over and found themes and connections in order to craft their speeches. They were challenged to write and rewrite in order to improve and move forward. They learned not only to memorize, but they each developed real confidence in their abilities to write, memorize and deliver a significant oration. I remember my daughter Grace stating during the last presidential debates, 'They keep talking about all they will do, but if you read the Constitution, they don't have all the powers they are claiming to have.'
The skills my children acquired as a result of competing in the Oratorical Contest helped make the transition into college-level study seamless. My fifth child, Mary Therese, just competed for her first time this year. As she left the post in Dallas after delivering her speech, she commented to me, 'I didn't realize I could memorize and give a speech like that.' Therese placed fifth in the state, and cannot wait to compete next year. I also attended Girls State. My children have attended Boys State and Girls State. My son, Joe, who competed locally for three years, enjoyed Boys State so much that he has returned as a counselor. My son-in-law Kevin Arkoosh attended Boys State in Idaho. He too had an amazing experience that solidified his interest in government. He now works on Capital Hill for Senator Risch of Idaho. The American Legion and the programs so many members tirelessly work to offer to students have significantly helped me to provide my children with a liberal education that embraces our nation's foundation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. God bless America, and God bless The American Legion. My family salutes you all."

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