Scholarships, Awards, Contests & Grants

2023-24 Scholarships, Awards, Contests & Grants

There are many benefits of being a KEA member, including eligibility for scholarships, awards, contests, and grants sponsored by KEA, NEA, and their partners.  If you are a KEA member, some opportunities are also available for your family.  

The scholarships, awards, and contests listed below are open and are accepting submissions.



Deadline extended to February 29th: KEA Smith-Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights in Education:  Established by the KEA Commission on Human Relations at the request of the KEA Delegate Assembly, the Lucy Harth Smith-Atwood S. Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights in Education was presented for the first time in 1974, and has been continuously awarded every year since then. The award is named for Mrs. Lucy Harth Smith (1888-1955), principal of Lexington’s Booker T. Washington Elementary School for 20 years, and Atwood S. Wilson (1895-1967), principal of Louisville’s Central High School for 29 years. 

Selected each year by the KEA Diversity Committee, the award recognizes the work of Kentucky individuals or organizations that support and contribute to progress in racial and social justice.  Nominees do not have to be members of KEA, but must be persons or organizations that currently do relevant work or have recently done relevant work in Kentucky, and may be self-nominated or nominated by others.  Consideration will be given to nominees that: encourage and support minorities to select the teaching profession; advance opportunities for youth of color; initiate or continue impactful work in the areas of human and civil rights; or lead in the field of innovative, creative and equitable education for all students.   Nominations for the 2024 Smith-Wilson award are now being accepted.  The deadline for all nominations is 5:00 p.m. eastern, Thursday, February 29, 2024.


#DifferenceMakers 2023-24 Student Art Contest: Show us how talented your students are!  You do not have to be a KEA member to submit your students’ artwork.  Just have your students eachsubmit an 8 1/2 X 11 portrait of the educator who has made a difference to them. Send your students’ #DifferenceMakersportraits and one copy of the required information formfor each individual submission to KEA. You can download the official #DifferenceMakers entry form and rules here. One winner in each grade span (P-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12) will be selected.  The winning students and their teachers will each win $50!  The 2023-24 #DifferenceMakers contest is open and KEA is accepting submissions.  The deadline for all submissions is 5:00 PM Eastern, February 8th, 2024.  With permission, winning submissions will be published in the KEA News and may be published on KEA social media platforms. 

Deadline extended to February 29th: Diversity Lesson Plan Contest  – It’s Black History Month; do you have a great diversity-focused lesson plan that you want to share? KEA believes that diversity in the classroom is important for students of all races, and that understanding people from other cultures builds a strong social foundation for our country.  Each year, the KEA Diversity Committee sponsors a contest to select lesson plans that emphasize diversity and present the concept to students in age-appropriate and engaging ways. Lesson plans will be scored based on this rubric. Two individual winners will each receive $250 and will be recognized at the KEA DA in April.  The 2023-24 application can be found here. The deadline for all submissions is 5:00 p.m. eastern, Thursday, February 29, 2024.

Deadline extended!  2023-24 ESP Diversity Project:  The ESP Diversity Project contest encourages KEA ESP members to create a bulletin board or other visual project at their worksite with a theme of racial/social justice, encouraging diversity, or accepting differences. All KEA ESP members are invited to participate.  Submissions can be by individuals or by teams. Projects will be judged by the KEA Diversity Committee.  Two individual winners will receive $250 each, or $250 for each winning team (divided equally among the named team members).  Winners will be recognized at the 2024 KEA Delegate Assembly. If possible, the winning projects (or photos of the projects) will be displayed at the KEA DA.  Please submit your ESP Diversity Project through this link.  The deadline for all submissions is 5:00 p.m. eastern, Thursday, February 29, 2024.