First lady Casey Desantis announces Black History Month theme

First lady Casey Desantis announces Black History Month theme

Florida's first lady Casey DeSantis announced the 2019 Black History Month theme and student contests.

This year's theme will be "Celebrating Public Service" to recognize African-American leaders who play a prominent role in public service in Florida.

"Ron and I could not be more excited to join our state’s incredible students, parents, teachers and educators during Black History Month to celebrate and champion the public service of so many influential Floridians,” said DeSantis. “Our state is blessed to have several inspirational and talented leaders who serve our communities every day. I look forward to highlighting the contributions of those individuals during Black History Month.”

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Art contest: 

  • Open to Florida students in kindergarten to third grade.
  • Contestants will submit two-dimensional artwork based on the theme.
  • Two winners will be selected.

Essay contest:

  • Open to Florida students in fourth to twelfth grade.
  • Entries must be no longer than 500 words and based on this year's theme.
  • Three winners will be selected: one elementary school student, one middle school student and one high school student.
  • Each winner will receive a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship, provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

Excellence in Education Award:

  • Open to all full-time educators in an elementary, middle or high school in Florida.
  • Three winners will be selected, one from elementary, middle and high school each.
  • Nominations may be submitted by a principal, teacher, parent/guardian or student.

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