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The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), whose mission and objectives are patriotic, historical, and educational, wish to identify, recognize, and commend Outstanding Social Studies Teachers. These extraordinary educators at private, public, and parochial institutions, who teach our children in a middle or high school setting, will be recognized for actively addressing the history of the American Revolutionary era. The Dr. Tom & Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award winner will represent a teacher whose instruction on the Revolutionary War era, from 1750 to 1800, demonstrates educational efforts in the classroom that exceed and excel above current, accepted, curriculum requirements.

Contest Information and Instructions

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) invites all American history teachers, whose approved curriculum teaches students about the American Revolution era from 1750 to 1800, to apply for the Dr. Tom & Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award. The award is open to all teachers at the elementary, middle school or high school levels at a recognized public, private, or parochial institution. While the preliminary rounds of the award program begin at the local chapter level, teachers may eventually advance to the state and national levels.

The American History Teacher Award recognizes educators who distinguish themselves in teaching the history of the American Revolution. Teacher candidates interested in entering the local SAR Chapter contest must complete the required application and submit a written essay of not less than 1000 words discussing the importance of teaching the American Revolution era. The essay may also describe any extraordinary teaching techniques or innovative projects utilized by the teacher to teach the American Revolution. The contest is aimed at identifying a teacher who is still actively teaching, has taught for at least three years, and who is in the early or middle stages of his or her career, therefore having at least 15 years of productive classroom teaching remaining.

The program will feature a contest at each of the three educational levels so there will be a winner for the elementary school level, the middle school level and the high school level.  An SAR Chapter may submit a contestant to the state from each school level and the state may hold a contest and select a winner from each school level to submit for the national awards. A state may submit a state winner for each level, or from only one or two educational levels. The national winner from each school level will receive potential benefits worth up to $5,000.00 per winner.

The benefits to each winner are as follows; Attendance at a teacher workshop or seminar on the American Revolution. The winner will receive up to $3,000.00 to pay for tuition and travel expenses to attend one of the following teacher seminars: the Freedoms Foundation Summer Teacher Graduate Workshop at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; the Colonial Williamsburg Summer Teacher Workshop in Williamsburg, Virginia; the Jefferson Symposium at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia; or the SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution.  Other seminars may be attended provided the SAR provides prior approval in writing. The tuition for the seminar will be considered a scholarship and will be paid directly to the seminar.  Reasonable travel expenses directly related to attendance at a seminar will be incurred by the winner and submitted to the SAR for reimbursement.  Winners are encouraged to discuss travel plans with the SAR prior to incurring expenses. Reasonable travel expenses may include airfare or mileage in the case of a winner driving a personal vehicle, and room and board where it is not provided by the seminar.  Because the educational benefit is $3,000.00 it is possible that a winner may attend more than one seminar but the total scholarship for tuition, and reimbursement for expenses may not exceed $3,000.00.  The winners must complete all seminars within 24 months after the winners are announced, or the award is forfeited. Within thirty days of attending a seminar, a winning teacher must submit to the SAR a report of not less than 500 words discussing the benefits of the award and how the seminar has improved their ability to teach the American Revolution. The report may be shared with the SAR membership including posting it on the website. The winner will receive a cash prize of $500.00 for their personal and unrestricted use. The winner will receive an IRS Form 1099, as this cash prize is taxable. The winner will receive a $500.00 credit for the purchase of educational supplies for the classroom directly related to the American Revolution. The winner will be expected to purchase the supplies and then submit the receipts to the SAR for reimbursement.  Reimbursement for supplies is not considered a taxable gift and an IRS Form 1099 will not be sent to the winner. One past winner each year will be invited to attend the SAR National Congress to speak at the Youth Awards Luncheon.

Only one teacher per year will be invited to the National Congress. Only teachers who have attended a seminar are eligible for invitation to the National Congress so it is possible that the teacher invited to Congress will have been a winner in a prior year.  At the discretion of the SAR, a winning teacher who was not invited to Congress may be invited to a Leadership Meeting in Louisville, KY. Teachers who are invited to either a Congress or a Leadership Meeting will have their travel expenses paid, including two nights of hotel accommodations, meals and transportation.  The reimbursement will be made once travel expenses are submitted and may not exceed $1,000.00.

Each winning teacher will be sent a form explaining the expense reimbursement rules along with an expense claim form. It will also include information about contacting the approved seminars.  Additionally, it will include reimbursement guidelines as to acceptable classroom supplies and educational materials.

The winning teachers will then bring back to their classrooms and students a heightened level of creativity and enthusiasm for the American Revolutionary era. A complete set of rules, along with the application for both the applicant and the sponsoring SAR members, can be found below. Please be aware that the local application deadline dates may vary, so interested applicants should reach out to their local SAR chapter for further details.