Students across the state are invited to participate in art and essay contests for Black History Month under the theme “Community Champions – Celebrating the Contributions of African Americans in Florida’s Communities.”

Information about the contests, their big-ticket prizes and the Excellence in Education Awards were released last week by Florida's first lady.

“Countless contributions of Black Floridians continue to shape our communities statewide,” said Casey DeSantis. “During Black History Month, the governor and I look forward to recognizing and celebrating these champions of service who have made Florida stronger. I encourage students from across the state to join in these celebrations and enter our art and essay contest, as well as educators that go above and beyond to serve our students.”

The essay contest is open to students in grades 4-12. Essays may be 500 words or less. Three winners will be selected: one elementary school student (grades 4-5), one middle school student (grades 6-8) and one high school student (grades 9-12). Each winner will receive a 4-Year Florida College Plan scholarship, provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

Students in grades K-3 can participate in the art contest, which calls for the submission of original, two-dimensional pieces of art based on the theme. Two winners will be selected.

Students, parents, teachers and principals are invited to nominate full-time educators of all student grades for the Black History Month Excellence in Education Award.

For more information about contest rules and submission requirements, visit All entries are due by 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 26, 2021.

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