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Essay Contest For Black History Month Violence Nyc Doe

~ Three students will earn a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott invited Florida K students to participate in the Black History Month art and essay contests based on this year’s theme, “A Celebration of Innovative African-American Leaders.” Students, parents, teachers and principals are also invited to nominate full-time educators in elementary, middle and high schools for the Black History Month Excellence in Education Award.

Governor Scott said, “Ann and I are proud to join Florida families in celebrating Black History Month this February and encourage every Florida student to participate in the Black History Month contests and nominate one of our state’s great educators for the Excellence in Education Award.”

First Lady Ann Scott said, “Governor Scott and I are so honored to announce this year’s Black History Month contests in celebration of Florida’s many innovative leaders. I hope every student takes advantage of this opportunity to learn about our state’s history and potentially earn a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship. We are also honored to recognize this year’s featured artist, Thomas H. Lewis, whose beautiful one-of-a-kind stained glass art is displayed around the country.”

About the Student Contests

Art Contest for Grades K-3: The Black History Month art contest is open to all Florida students in grades K Two winners will be selected.

Essay Contest for Grades : The Black History Month essay contest is open to all Florida students in grades 4 through Three winners will be selected: one elementary student (grades ), one middle-school student (grades ), and one high school student (grades ). Winners will receive a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

About the Excellence in Education Award

Governor Scott’s annual Black History Month Excellence in Education Award Contest is open to all full-time educators in an elementary, middle or high school in Florida. Three winners will be selected: one elementary teacher (grades K-5), one middle school teacher (grades ) and one high school teacher (grades ).

Contest Entries and Nomination Forms and Guidelines

Student contest forms and educator nomination forms must be mailed to Volunteer Florida or submitted online at woaknb.wz.sk

Volunteer Florida

Black History Month Committee
Esplanade Way, Suite
Tallahassee, Florida

All entries must be received by p.m. EST on Friday, March 2,

More information about the contests and Florida’s Black History Month is available at woaknb.wz.sk

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These lessons focus on "songs" about the American experience at different points in history:

I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman
I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes
Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander

Walt Whitman wrote his song when the United States was a relatively new country. Langston Hughes wrote in the early 20th Century, when there was still much discrimination against African Americans. And Elizabeth Alexander wrote her praise song early in the 21st Century, when the first African American President of the United States was inaugurated.

Among other perspectives, the poems offer snapshots of daily life at the time when they were written.  The lessons that follow, aligned with Common Core Standards, ask your students first to look deeply at life around them and use rich language to describe what they see and feel, then read the three poems collaboratively. After reading the poems, we ask them to write their own poem songs that portray the people and daily life they perceive.

As with the lessons on Ghosts and Spirits, in order to reach diverse learners, you should look at the activities as suggestions from which you can choose in order to help all your students learn.  You can choose one warm-up or several.  The same is true for pre- and post-activities.

A Note About Lesson Integration:  Since these lessons refer to poems that illustrate periods in American History, Social Studies and English teachers may be interested in working together to include these poems across their subject areas.  In addition, the Common Core Standards referenced below are for the high school years (), so you can teach the poems in several grades. 


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