Each month of November following the effective date of this section shall be designated as New York state history month.
The purpose of this month shall be to celebrate the history of New York state and recognize the contributions of state and local historians.
The commissioner of education, through the office of state history is hereby authorized to undertake projects to recognize New York state history month. Such projects may include the creation of an essay contest for state residents who are enrolled in any elementary or secondary education program which shall reflect upon the importance of New York state history. Any project or projects created pursuant to this subdivision may, in the discretion of the commissioner of education, authorize non-monetary awards to be given to project participants or project winners as such commissioner may deem appropriate.