How the ALA Junior Patch Program Benefits Our Younger Members

There are several ways American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Juniors and Sons of The American Legion (SAL) youth members can be active participants of The American Legion Family. One route is through the Patch Program. Regardless of residency and whether she/he belongs to a unit or squadron, Junior Auxiliary members and SAL youth members can serve their communities and veterans, and learn about patriotism, health, fitness, and leadership through this program.

There are three levels of patch criteria:

Red — Level 1: Kindergarten through third grade

Gold — Level 2: Fourth grade through eighth grade

Blue — Level 3: Ninth grade through 12th grade (or 18 years old)

8-8 patches
Juniors can earn a wide variety of patches through this program.

A special Junior patch has been created for our Junior members and SAL youth to help raise money for the National Presidents’ Scholarship Fund. We hope every Junior and SAL youth will be involved in some activity to raise money for scholarships, which are funded by the Educating Children of Warriors Fund.

Any Junior or SAL youth can earn this patch by raising at least $5 for each year of their age. For example, a 17-year-old would raise a minimum of $85 (17 x $5 = $85).

Money can be raised in a variety of ways. Juniors and SAL youth can solicit donations from family, friends, Legion Family members, or contribute themselves. They can coordinate fundraising activities such as bake sales. Funds can be raised individually or as a group, but each Junior or SAL youth receiving this patch needs to have raised the required minimum funds for their age. The goal is for the youth of our organization to be involved and aware of the scholarship project. Checks should be made out to National Treasurer, American Legion Auxiliary with National Presidents’ Scholarship in the memo line.

Here are a few examples of the criteria for patches, depending on the grade level:

Red (kindergarten through third grade)

Americanism: Educate yourself about the rights and responsibilities of an American citizen. Must complete three of eight activities. Required: Learn and lead the Pledge of Allegiance at a meeting or your school.

Activities to choose from include: enter the Americanism Essay Contest for your age group, draw the American flag and identify the proper number of stars and stripes, or study the history of Independence Day and tell an adult what it means to you.

Gold (fourth through eighth grade)

Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation: We assist and enhance the lives of those who have served our country. Must complete six of nine activities. Required: Send eight greeting cards to hospitalized or ill veterans and research three other organizations that help veterans.

Activities to choose from include: volunteer to help a veteran or their family with yard work or chores, participate in a stand down for homeless veterans in your community, or participate in a special holiday program for veterans through your school, unit, or church.

Blue (ninth through 12th grade)

Education: Educate yourself about the rights and responsibilities of an American citizen. Must complete nine of 12 activities. Required: Tutor another student or adult on an educational topic (reading, math, history, or another subject) for a minimum of five hours, raise $25 for the National Presidents’ Scholarship, and read a minimum of five novels or five non-fiction books during the school year and provide a written log of the books you have read.

Activities to choose from include: work with your teacher(s) to invite a veteran into your classroom, volunteer to help in an after-school reading program or organize a patriotic activity in your community in collaboration with The American Legion Family, mayor, or others.

8-8 SAL member
The patch program benefits both ALA and SAL members. Left to right: ALA National Junior Activities Chairman Pam Ray, Anthony Cella Jr., Tiffany Cella, and Anthony Cella Sr.

For additional information about the Junior Patch Program, contact the National Junior Activities Committee at junioractivities@ALAforVeterans.org or 317-569-4500.

To see complete information for all the patches for each grade level, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org, Members Only, Junior Member Activities, and log in. The information is broken down by age groups on the left-hand side of the screen.

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