The City of Ocoee is hosting its annual Black History Month Essay Contest in recognition of Black History Month.
Now in its 18th year, the contest is part of the city efforts to highlight and celebrate the African American achievements in the community.
The essay competition is open to 5th grade students that attend Ocoee schools.
This year's theme for the essay contest is “Connecting Through Diversity in an Isolated Environment to Support Positive Mental Health.”
The City of Ocoee also issued a proclamation at its City Commission meeting on Feb. 1.
“Black History Month serves as a celebration of African American achievements and the crucial role they had in American history, as well as a time to recognize the severe adversity generations of black Americans had to overcome to achieve legitimate citizenship in our society," the proclamation states.
Biographical portraits of notable African Americans are displayed at City Hall and "Ocoee Celebrates Diversity" pole banners are stationed along Clarke Road from White Road to Silver Star Road.
The overall winner for the contest will be awarded a $300 gift card from Best Buy and first place winners will receive a $100 gift card from Best Buy.
A virtual essay awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.
The ceremony will be broadcasted on Ocoee TV Spectrum Channel 493 and a livestream will be available here.
Ocoee TV is also airing past essay award ceremonies. The segments may be viewed on the city’s YouTube channel.