A number of Chicago Public Schools students from high schools throughout the city were awarded prizes ranging from college scholarships to laptop computers and digital cameras for essays they authored as part of Black History Month Essay Contest.
Essays centered on the topic: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined non-conformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.’ What does this mean to you personally and what individual of African descent, in your opinion, most exemplifies these words?” Winners were recognized at a banquet today at Northside College Prep High School, 5501 N. Kedzie, which featured the reading of the grand prize essays and a performance of African dancers and drummers of the Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago.
The essay competition was open to all CPS 9th-through-12th graders; students from 34 high schools submitted more than 1,900 essays. Judging for the selection of grand and second place prize winners was performed by representatives from Roosevelt University, the American Bottling Company and officials from Chicago Public Schools. Roosevelt University and American Bottling Company sponsor the prizes that are awarded as part of the essay contest.
Grand prize winners included:
- 9th grade, Brittney, Simeon Career Academy High School
- 10th grade, Anton, Carl Schurz School
- 11th grade, Amanda, North-Grand High School
- 12th grade, Josephine, Lincoln Park High School
Grand prize winners were each awarded a laptop computer and printer, plus a $5,000 scholarship to Roosevelt University.
Second place winners included:
- 9th grade, Dominique, Morgan Park High School
- 10th grade, Hakeem, King College Prep High School
- 11th grade, Whitney, Lincoln Park High School
- 12th grade, Diana, Whitney Young Magnet High School
Second place winners each received a digital camera and printer.
Additionally, $500 cash prizes for teacher/staff professional development were won by Carl Schurz, Lincoln Park, Spry Community Links and North-Grand High Schools for submitting the highest percentage of essays in the competition.
Teachers who monitored the prize-winning students each received a $100 gift card.
The Black History Month Essay Competition creates awareness of noteworthy events and persons in African and African-American history and offers prizes for the winning students and their schools. A similar essay competition will take place in September/October 2010 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Chicago Public Schools serves 417,855 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.