LUSBY, MD – What do Abe Lincoln, Fredrick Douglas, Jackie Robinson, Michael Jackson, Michelle Obama and Bob Marley have in common? They all recently adorned the walls at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby, Maryland, as part of the 12th annual Black History Poster Contest at the facility.
The contest began as a way to get students from Calvert and St. Mary’s counties directly involved in Black History Month and has morphed into a springtime favorite for not only the kids, who enter their artwork in a cash prize contest, but also for folks who work at the plant. Thus, the contest serves a dual purpose: to help educate both the students and employees about the importance of Black History Month and to lift the spirits of the community members working at Calvert Cliffs.
“The artwork generally goes up during our refueling and maintenance outage which is a time when we all put in extra hours and are working really hard to set the plant up to continue operating safely into the future,” said George Gellrich, site vice president at Calvert Cliffs. “I hear all the time that the posters put countless smiles on the faces of our employees and that they look forward to checking out the tremendous creativity from the local kids each year.”
This year, Calvert Cliffs gave out $3,450 in cash prizes to local contestants. Out of the 243 total entries, 49 students earned prizes of $50 and five students earned $200 checks – all of which were given out May 9 at an awards lunch at Calvert Cliffs. Public school students in St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties create the majority of entries but private and home-schooled students are welcome to participate as well.
“I feel lucky to be part of such a great event each year,” reinforced Gellrich at the awards ceremony. “This is really what it is all about; supporting the creative leaders of tomorrow and remembering the great leaders of both the past and today. It is a win-win for all involved.”
In addition to the cash prizes, Calvert Cliffs also puts together goody bags for students, teachers and parents who attend the site sponsored awards lunch.
Please see the winning artwork below.