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Press Release

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott Announce 2013 Hispanic Heritage Month Student Scholarship Contests

View the video of Governor Scott and First Lady Scott

Tallahassee, Fla. - Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott today announce the 2013 Hispanic Heritage Month contests and invite students in kindergarten through 12th grades to participate in the art and essay contests. Students, parents, teachers and principals have also been invited to nominate full-time Hispanic educators in elementary, middle or high schools for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award.

Governor Scott said, "The upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month is a wonderful time to recognize the countless contributions Florida's Hispanic community makes across our state and nation. The 2013 Hispanic Heritage Month Contests will help students appreciate the contributions of the Hispanic community and encourage our young people to imagine Florida's future. While Florida students continue to compete with students across the world, our students are prepared with the skills to be competitive in a global marketplace. Florida remains a national leader in Hispanic graduation improvement and Florida's Hispanic graduation rate ranks first in the nation for the second year in a row."

First Lady Ann Scott said, "The Hispanic Heritage Month art and essay contests will allow Florida students the opportunity to learn more about our state's Hispanic culture, and the contributions the Hispanic people have had across the nation. I am also please that Mr. Nestor Martinez is the Hispanic Heritage Month's featured artist for this year. I encourage every Florida teacher and student to participate and celebrate this very important month."

The student contests focus on the theme "Commemorating 500 Years: An Ongoing Journey." Students are asked to respond to how they are influenced and inspired by important Hispanic Floridians from throughout history. Information about the contests and Florida's Hispanic Heritage is available on Florida's Hispanic Heritage Month website, www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.

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. Please visit www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com to download complete guidelines and entry forms.

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. Please visit www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com to download complete guidelines and entry forms.

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 teacher (grades K-5), one middle school teacher (grades 6-8), and one high school teacher (grades 9-12).

Forms can be found at www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.

Contest Entries and Nominations

**Student contest entries and educator nomination forms must be mailed to:

Volunteer Florida
Attention: Hispanic Heritage Month Committee
401 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301

All entries must be received by Volunteer Florida no later than 5:00 p.m., EDT, September 16, 2013. (Contestants are responsible for all shipping costs).

About Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States has been celebrated since 1988, when President Ronald Reagan issued a Presidential Proclamation extending Hispanic Heritage Week into a month-long observation. This annual month-long celebration that begins on September 15 recognizes the contributions, traditions and culture of Hispanics and Latino Americans to the United States of America. Several Latin American countries celebrate the anniversaries of their independence during Hispanic Heritage Month. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate their Independence on September 15. Mexico celebrates its Independence Day on September 16, and Chile on September 18.

For additional information about Hispanic Heritage Month, contests and other related events, please visit www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.