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Students and teachers encouraged to participate in 2024 Black History Month Contests

The Florida Department of Education and Volunteer Florida recently launched the 2024 Black History Month student art and essay contests and educator awards with the theme of “Celebrating Florida’s African American Heroes and Their Contributions to Freedom.”

These contests will run through Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

Black History Month is celebrated each year in the month of February.

“Black History Month serves as a perfect chance for students to learn about the accomplishments that African-American heroes have contributed to Florida in the name of freedom,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. in a news release. “I hope students and educators use this contest to delve into Florida’s rich history and to learn about how African Americans have shaped our great state.”

Student Art Contest

The Black History Month Student Art Contest is open to all Kindergarten through third-grade students in Florida. Each student will submit original, two-dimensional artwork based on this year’s theme. Four statewide winners will be selected for the month, and each winner will receive a $100 gift card for school supplies and a one-year pass to Florida State Parks.

Student Essay Contest

The Black History Month Student Essay Contest is open to all fourth through twelfth-grade students in Florida. Each student will submit one essay no longer than 500 words based on this year’s theme. Six winners will be selected: two elementary school students (grades 4–5), two middle school students (grades 6–8), and two high school students (grades 9–12). Each winner will receive a 2–year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and a $100 gift card for school supplies.

Students are encouraged to write about the African American heroes who fought for freedom across our state. The subject of the essay should be a Floridian. 

Excellence in Education Award

The Black History Month Excellence in Education Award Contest is open to all full-time educators in an elementary, middle, or high school in Florida. Four winners will be selected, and a principal, teacher, parent/guardian, or student may submit nominations. Excellence in Education award winners will receive a $2,500 monetary prize from Volunteer Florida.

Contest Entries and Nominating Forms and Guidelines

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

Volunteer Florida

Black History Month Committee

1545 Raymond Diehl Road, Suite 250

Tallahassee, Florida 32308

All entries must be received by 5 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

If mailing, please consider the time necessary to ensure the submission is received by Volunteer Florida’s office no later than the deadline as mentioned above.

For more information about the contests, please visit

Erin Hill – Gadsden County News Service