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Children and older youth can enter the 2021 Reflections Fine Arts Contest. CONTRIBUTED

Reflections entries due by Oct. 14

MADISON – Do you know any students in Madison who have a knack at dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography or visual arts? A national contest is accepting submissions from youth who have aptitudes in these areas.

The annual Reflections Fine Arts Contest taps the creativity in elementary, middle school and high school youth. The National PTA has sponsored the contest for more than 50 years; locally, teachers and parent volunteers in Madison schools promote and guide entrants.

Student winners from the local level can advance to their district, region, council and state PTA programs — and ultimately to the national level. Officials announce national Reflections winners in May and celebrate annually at National PTA’s Convention & Expo in June. National PTA then collects and curates the traveling exhibit for the next year.

This year’s theme is “I matter because.” Each year, a student creates the Reflections theme, and PTA officials select a theme two years in advance. The 2021 theme originated with the uplifting thoughts of first-grader Rylee Stier, who was inspired by her town’s response to California wildfires in 2018.

The theme corresponds well with the mission of National PTA to make every child’s potential a reality. For more than 50 years, the program has offered opportunity for recognition and access to the arts, according to pta.org/reflections.

Reflections submissions are due Oct. 14. To register, visit pta.org/reflections and click the “Register here” box. All Reflections entries will be digital. Students can submit more than one category.

More than 300,000 students participate in Reflections every year.

For 2020 entries, Harshtha Chander, a student at Heritage Elementary School, earned national-level accolades in Reflections. Chander won the Award of Excellence in the intermediate division for grades 3-5 in Dance Choreography.

Her entry, “Who We Are, What We Can Be!,” in dance interpretation used music from two movies: “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” and “You and Me” from “Descendants 2.” “I dedicated (my) dance to all the kids who are victims of bullying,” Chander said.

For more information about the contest at the state level, contact Alabama PTA at 334-834-2501 or email alabamapta@yahoo.com.

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