Three Madison City Schools students won at the national level of PTA Reflections fine arts contest: Alice Grieve, Mill Creek Elementary School, one of seven winners of Outstanding Interpretation Award, Visual Arts, “Paved the Way”; Ishita Rajput, Liberty Middle School, Music Composition, “Stand Up for What Is Right”; and Harshtha Chander (in photo), Liberty, Dance Choreography, “Our Voices Inspire.” CONTRIBUTED

Chander, Grieve, Rajput win national awards in PTA Reflections

MADISON – Three students in Madison City Schools or MCS earned awards at the national level in the 2024 National PTA Reflections fine arts contest.

Annually, 300,000-plus students nationwide in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade create original works following a student-defined theme. Winners can advance from their individual school to their district, state and national competitions.

Competition categories are Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts.

Following the theme, “Show Your Voice!,” 34 MCS students placed at the Alabama State level. Fourteen students received first place in the state contest and advanced to the National level. Three MCS students placed at judging for Nationals from more than 900 entries and 300,000-plus submissions from across the country, according to Madison City PTA Reflections Co-Chairs Beth Green and Ricki Schwartz.

Madison students were recognized on Jan. 31 during National PTA’s Virtual Reflections Student Arts Showcase. The online ceremony included remarks from National PTA President Yvonne Johnson and Lauren Mendoza, U.S. Department of Education.

These Madison students won at the National Level:

* Harshtha Chander — Liberty Middle School. Received Award of Merit in Dance Choreography for her original dance, “Our Voices Inspire.” Chander was invited to share her perspective during the showcase: “My inspiration and goal behind this piece was to tell people that showing and using your voice is extremely important. It’s important to surround yourself with people who will listen to your thoughts, emotions and ideas.”

* Alice Grieve — Mill Creek Elementary School. Grieve was one of only seven students to earn the Award of Outstanding Interpretation in Visual Arts at the Intermediate level for grades 3-5 for her original mixed-media work, “Paved the Way.”

Grieve placed among the highest scores for interpretation of theme. She designed a skirt made of neckties, each stating the name of a woman who accomplished outstanding precedents in science, politics, engineering, chemistry and other fields. One tie is blank because “I want to write my name when I work as a structural engineering for NASA and help put astronauts on Mars,” Grieve said.

* Ishita Rajput — Liberty Middle School. Earned the national-level Award of Merit in the Music Composition category in the Middle School level for grades 6-8 for her original song, “Stand Up for What Is Right”. “My music composition explores and emotionalizes the expression of the innocent to be heard and recognized of their thoughts and stand for what is right. Show your voice for what you stand for is the message of the composition,” Rajput said about her melodic, pleasing composition.

Experts for each category judged all entries on interpretation of theme, creativity and technique. Interpretation is considered most important.

Entries for 2024-2025 Reflections with the theme “Accepting Imperfection” will open to all MCS students in fall 2024. Visit mcsarts.site.

To view national winners, visit pta.org/home/programs/reflections/awards. For more information, email mcsptarelections@gmail.com.

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