COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

PRINS. MEMO NO. 3

January 8, 2004

ELEMENTARY / MIDDLE / SECONDARY

TO:

Principals

 

FROM:

Patricia I. Wright

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Virginia Education Association (VEA) Brown v. Board of Education K-12 Essay and Visual Arts Contests

 

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Courts Brown v. Board of Education decision, the Virginia Education Association (VEA) and its local affiliates are sponsoring essay and visual arts contests for public school students across the commonwealth. The contest theme, Horizons of Opportunities, mirrors the theme of the nationwide celebration sponsored by the National Education Association and numerous other organizations. The Virginia contest will be conducted by the Fitz Turner Commission of the VEA civil rights panel.

 

The Brown decision, which declared that school segregation was inherently unequal and that schools must be integrated with all deliberate speed, was handed down on May 17, 1954. Virginia played a major role in the case. Although the case is named for its plaintiff from Topeka, Kansas, students and parents from Prince Edward County were also among the plaintiffs.

 

The essay contest asks students to reflect on how the Brown decision has changed their lives and the life of their communities. The essays are limited to not more than 1000 words. The visual arts contest calls for a piece of two-dimensional art in any medium on the same theme. Visual arts entries must be at least 8 x 11 inches and no larger than 18 x 24 inches.

 

Both contests will be judged in four different age divisions: K-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each local education association will submit its winning entries to the statewide contests. In each division, first-place winners will receive $100, second-place will receive $50, and third-place will receive $25.

 

The VEA would like to invite each school division to submit entries to the contests. Each local VEA Uniserv district has set a deadline for submission of entries on January 15, 2004, or shortly thereafter. Please contact your local Uniserv representative for the specific local deadline for submission at http://69.13.97.230/contact_uniserv.asp. For additional contests information go to the VEA website at http://69.13.97.230/articles_recent_detail.asp?ContentID=781.

 

Thank you for your help with these contests. If you have questions, please contact Cheryle C. Gardner, (cgardner@mail.vak12ed.edu), principal specialist, fine arts, Office of Middle Instructional Services, at (804) 224-2881, or Beblon Parks, VEA contests chairperson at (804) 775-8334.

 

PIW/CCG/yba