Black History Month will be marked by a variety of observances throughout the region in February, including an essay contest for youngsters sponsored by the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier.

The topic for the 36th annual Carter G. Woodson Essay Contest is “A Salute to African-American Poets and Writers in Western New York.” Students in grades four through 12 can participate. The deadline is Wednesday.

Winners will come from three categories: grades four through six, grades seven through nine, and grades 10 through 12. The awards program is scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave.

For more information, call the library at 883-4418.

• The Nash House Museum, 36 Nash St., will offer free admission from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 and Feb. 21. Groups of 10 or more should call 856-4990 in advance.

• “Along This Way: Storytelling in the African Tradition” will be presented at 2 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Merriweather library. The free event will feature storytellers Karima Amin and Sharon Holly, vocalist Joyce Carolyn and percussionist Sowande’ Eddie Nicholson. For more information, call the library.

• The African-American Ros- well Employee Network and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute will continue its Black History Month speaker series. From 12:05 to 12:45 p.m. Feb. 11, Tanya Perrin-Johnson, director of community affairs for the Buffalo Promise Initiative, will talk about the efforts taking place in the University District. The event will be held in Roswell Park Hospital Cafeteria Conference Rooms B and C.

• The 20th annual “African American Read-In” will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Merriweather library. The read-in is a national event sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English.

• In a continuation of the Roswell Park speaker series, L. Nathan Hare, president and CEO of the Community Action Organization of Erie County, will discuss plans for the former Deaconess Hospital to become the new CAO headquarters. The talk will be from 12:05 to 12:45 p.m. Feb. 21 in Roswell Park Hospital Cafeteria Conference Rooms B and C.

• “Black History/Black Literature: Who Is Writing?/Who Is Reading?,” an open discussion, will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 23. The free event will be held at Zawadi Books, 2460 Main St. For more information, call 903-6740.

• “Dressing Up for Black History” is a contest for students in grades four through 12 in which students select a person from black history and dress up as that person. Participants are encouraged to give a brief presentation highlighting the achievements of the individual selected.

The contest will be judged in three categories: grades four through six; grades seven through eight; and grades nine through 12. Judging will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Merriweather Library.

For more information, call 847-6010 or 507-5280, or email