National Arts in Education Week Kicks Off September 8

“The creative arts are the measure and reflection of our civilization. They offer many children an opportunity to see life with a larger perspective…The moral values we treasure are reflected in the beauty and truth that is emotionally transmitted through the arts.The arts say something about us to future generations.” –Ann P. Kahn, Former President of National PTA

Celebrate National Arts in Education Week (September 8-14, 2013) with thousands of PTA leaders across America and in military schools overseas who believe all students deserve access to a quality arts education!  Visit National PTA’s new arts in education resources page to find out how you can  provide opportunities for students to explore and be involved in the arts with PTA Reflections.


Reflections Art by Chenchen Li “In Focus”

The National PTA Reflections program is the nation’s oldest and largest student recognition program of its kind. Since 1969, the Reflections program has inspired millions of students in Grades Pre-K through 12 to reflect on a specific theme and create original artwork. Students are encouraged to reflect on this year’s theme, “Believe, Dream, Inspire.”  in one or all of the following arts categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts.

This past year, PTA Reflections leaders inspired nearly five hundred thousand students to reflect on a common theme, create original artwork and be recognized for their participation and achievement in the arts. Visit the National PTA Reflections gallery of award winning artwork.


Reflections Art by Samrath Kaur “Frozen In Time”

Become your school’s leader in the arts. As a Reflections leader, you will play a critical role in helping students explore the arts all while bringing families and schools together in a meaningful way. Reflections also connects your school with community arts organizations that are necessary for adding value and strength to your role as an advocate for arts learning in your school.

All students benefit from participating in Reflections. The arts welcome all students – despite their individual challenges — to explore ideas, express their individuality and support their peers in a positive way. Studies also find that students who participate in the arts are more engaged in their own learning, which leads to increased school attendance rates and social connectedness.

Learn more about supporting student success and the arts by downloading a unified statement recently signed by National PTA and 49 other well-known organizations called, Arts Education; Creating Student Success In School, Work, and Life.


Reflections Art by Johanna Cord-Cruz “The Moment of an Artist”

Let’s get started! Whether there is no parent group at your school now, or your existing parent group wants to realize all the benefits of PTA membership, we encourage you to contact National PTA at or (800) 307-4PTA (4782) to help  get your school’s program underway.

National PTA offers a free Reflections Leader Toolkit including leader training videos, promotional tools, and template resources to help you get started.  Contact your state PTA for program forms, guidelines, and information about regional and state level programs.

Visit to learn more.

Ethan Clark is the Manager, Arts in Education at National PTA. Contact Ethan at

Reflections: A Gallery of 2011-2012 Student Art

Since 1969, the PTA Reflections program has encouraged students across the nation and in American schools overseas to explore their artistic talents. Each year, students in preschool through high school are invited to create and submit works of art in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography, and the visual arts. In the 2011-2012 school year, Reflections students shared their artistic interpretations on the theme “Diversity Means…” We received an abundance of inspiring, insightful works from talented, perceptive students whose art shines light on issues of acceptance, harmony, and celebration. We are proud to share with you this year’s Outstanding Interpretations in each art category, the top honor Reflections bestows upon our young artists.

Outstanding Interpretation
in Photography

Student Artist: Kobie Long
“Scrambled Students”
Grade Division: Intermediate
Hubbell Elementary PTA
Des Moines, IA


Visual Arts

Outstanding Interpretation
in Visual Arts

Student Artist: Emily Lam
“Diversity Means Harmony in the World”
Grade Division: Primary
SKA Academy PTSA
Duluth, GA


Dance Choreography

Outstanding Interpretation
in Dance Choreography

Student Artist: Racquel Charles
“True Colors”
Grade Division: High School
Sequoyah High
Canton, GA


Film Production

Outstanding Interpretation
in Film Production

Student Artist: Ansel LaPier
“The Quest”
Grade Division: Primary
Liberty Lake Elementary PTSA
Liberty Lake, WA



I woke up with Nat next to me on the hard pallet that folded up into a hard couch when we weren’t sleeping together. She had been awake for a while and I knew this because her eyes were clear and bright and makeup-less and her hair was smoothed down and melled like coconut and the counch didn’t and maybe she was just sitting there for a second. She had a book in her hands but it wasn’t open. She saw me flex my calf under the blanket and said “Hi.”I turned halfway towards her and mouthed “Hi” back and pulled the blanket over my hair and stretched under the blanket for a while. When I was done I came back out and Nat had left and I heard running water in the bathroom.Continue reading…
Outstanding Interpretation
in Literature

Student Artist: Melanie Mignucci
“Es La Lluvia Que Le Molesta”
Grade Division: High School
Staples HS PTA
Westpost, CT


Music Composition

Outstanding Interpretation
in Music Composition

Student Artist: Polly Moser
“The Flow of Water”
Grade Division: Middle
Burleigh Manor Middle School
Ellicott City, MD


Award of Excellence and Award of Merit Winners

View a gallery of all Reflections photography and visual arts award winners, including Outstanding Interpretation, Awards of Excellence, and Awards of Merit:

To view the students’ names, schools, and hometowns, click to expand the slideshow, and select “Show Info” in the top right corner.


Watch all Reflections dance choreography and film production award winners, including Awards of Excellence, and Awards of Merit, on the National PTA Youtube Channel – Reflections Playlist.


Ethan Clark is the Manager of Arts in Education for National PTA in Alexandria, VA. Contact Ethan at