These students were winners in the Reflections Fine Arts Contest in 2014. Their principals and Central Office staff members joined the photo to show support. CONTRIBUTED

PTA advises starting now for Reflections entries

MADISON – Even after school starts, parents often hear that dreadful complaint – “There’s nothing to do. I’m bored.” Luckily, an annual program for creative expression has opened for the 2022-2023 season.

PTAs across the country are encouraging youth to channel their pent-up energy into the Reflections Fine Arts contest. Students decide on a category that best fits their talents and aptitudes. Categories are Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts, along with Special Artist Division.

In 2012, PTA officials added the “Special Artist Division” to accommodate students who identify as having a disability.

This year’s theme is “Show Your Voice!”

Registration is open. To register, visit surveymonkey.com/r/22-23ReflectionsRegistration or pta.org/Reflections for the registration link.

Each year, more than 300,000 students in pre-kindergarten through high-school seniors create original works following a student-selected theme. Reflections can help students explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas. This activity helps develop artistic literacy, increase confidence and find a love for learning that will help students become more successful in school and later life.

Locally, teachers and parent volunteers in Madison schools promote and guide entrants to Reflections.

Student winners from the local level can advance to district, region, council and state PTA programs and ultimately to the national level. Officials announce national Reflections winners in May.

Student entries submitted to the national level go through two rounds of review by esteemed arts professionals across the country. Judges apply these evaluations:

* Interpretation – How closely does the student’s submission relate to 2022’s theme?

* Creativity — How creative is the piece’s interpretation of the theme and in presentation?

* Technique – What level of skill did the student demonstrate for the category?

In 1969, Mary Lou Anderson, National PTA Board Member and former Colorado PTA President, founded Reflections. “Without the arts, education is paltry indeed!” Anderson said. Originally, Reflections’ categories for entries included only Literature, Visual Arts and Music Composition. The 1969 theme was “Children and Youth, Mirror Their World.”

For more information at the state level, call Alabama PTA at 334-834-2501 or email alabamapta@yahoo.com. Visit the National PTA website at pta.org/reflections.

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