FBT Bank & Mortgage recently awarded two students and two schools in Jefferson County through its Simply Artful Celebration of Black History Month Arts Contest.


At Coleman Intermediate School in the Watson Chapel School District, Kellye Thompson, a student, won for her work celebrating the accomplishments of Carolyn F. Blakely, Ph.D, retired educator and former chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She was also a recent inductee into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame, according to a news release.


Craig Attwood, executive vice president of FBT Jefferson County, and Joni Alexander, FBT Jefferson County outreach director, presented $250 to Thompson and $1,250 to Coleman school.


At Gandy Elementary School in the White Hall School District, Kaitleen Toh, a student, won for her work celebrating the life of Dr. Edith Irby Jones, the first African American to attend and graduate from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Jones is a charter member of the Physicians for Human Rights and in 2015 was inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame, according to the release.


Attwood and Alexander presented $250 to Toh and $1,250 to Gandy school. In addition, Toh’s artwork will be displayed at the White Hall branch of FBT at 7199 Sheridan Road throughout February.


Overall, FBT awarded $6,000 in cash and prizes during the contest in which fifth graders in Fordyce, Pine Bluff, Rison and White Hall were eligible to enter.


In its second year, the contest received more than 100 entries featuring African-American women who’ve made history and/or whose lives and work have impacted Arkansas and the nation, according to the release.


“Black history is American history, and FBT is excited to again this year showcase student artists and celebrate this wonderful time of learning more about our past,” said Jim Hulse, FBT president and CEO. “It’s our responsibility to help youth develop an appreciation for all ethnicities and cultures, and this contest is one of those ways our bank can partner with schools to do that.”


Students who submitted entries received a Simply Artful T-shirt and drawstring bag, and the winning student’s class also received a pizza party. Submissions included drawings, paintings, photographs, mixed media artwork, sculptures and essays.