The observation of National Hispanic Heritage Month began as a week’s observance in 1968 by the 36th president (Lyndon Johnson) and under the 40th president (Ronald Reagan) in 1988 the celebration was expanded to a month, from September 15 to October 15, and enacted into law on August 17, 1988. The purpose of the observance is to acknowledge and recognize contributions throughout history and cultures of American citizens with lineage from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
In Florida, as part of the Hispanic observance, Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott are inviting K-12 students to participate in 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month essay and art contests. Parents, students, teachers and principals are also encouraged to nominate outstanding Hispanic educators for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award. Gov. Scott expressed the following:
“I’m honored to join Floridians in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Florida’s history has been written, in part, by the contributions of strong Hispanic leaders and events that have helped shape Florida. I encourage all students to participate in the contests and celebrate the abundant contributions of the Hispanic community in our state.”
In the governor’s press release of Aug. 10, 2015, Gov. Scott presented the theme of this year’s essay and art contests: “Recognizing the Past, Honoring the Present, and Celebrating the Future.” Students are asked to research and share about a Hispanic person or event significant to Florida’s past, present and/or future.
About the Student Contests
Art Contest for Grades K-3: The Hispanic Heritage Month art contest is open to all Florida students in grades K-3, and two winners will be selected.
Essay Contest for Grades 4-12: The Hispanic Heritage Month essay contest is open to all Florida students in grades 4 through 12. Three winners will be selected: one elementary student (grades 4-5), one middle-school student (grades 6-8), and one high school student (grades 9-12). 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 Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award Contest is open to all Hispanic, full-time educators in an elementary, middle or high school in Florida. Three winners will be selected: one elementary school (grades K-5) teacher, one middle school (grades 6-8) teacher and one high school (grades 9-12) teacher.
Go to www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com for all entry forms and guidelines for the contests, as well as additional information about Florida’s Hispanic Heritage Month and other related events.
Source: Press Release Aug. 10, 2015 from the Office of Gov. Rick Scott