The Reflections program is the National PTA’s cornerstone art program. It was founded in 1969 by Colorado PTA president Mary Lou Anderson. Since its founding, millions of students have participated in the program. The goal of the program is participation in and appreciation for the arts. It has been shown that art education can help students in many ways, including development of motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision making, risk taking and inventiveness. According to a report by Americans for the Arts, “young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.” The excitement and enthusiasm that the program generates for children, parents, schools and communities is unmatched and an important part of PTA’s vision to make every student's potential a reality.
The Reflections program provides students with an opportunity to express themselves creatively and receive positive recognition for original works of art, inspired by a theme. Although organized in a contest format, the goal of Reflections is to encourage participation. Students are celebrated for their participation at every level.
Students may submit an entry in any of the six arts areas listed below. Only original works of art are accepted. Depending on state and local PTA guidelines, students may enter more than one work of art. The six art areas are as follows.
Participation in the Reflections Program is organized by school grade. Student works are critiqued with others in the same grade division. This allows recognition and judging of artworks by appropriate developmental age and skill levels. The five grade divisions are as follows:
The Reflections Program is structured for PTAs to recognize students at the local unit, council, district, state and national PTA levels. Entries are first judged at the local unit level, where selected works are chosen to represent the PTA at each subsequent level depending on each state PTA structure. Once entries reach the state level, the state PTA may select entries to submit to the National PTA. Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit are recognized at the annual National PTA convention and are displayed as part of the program’s traveling exhibit.
Participation in the Michigan Reflections Program is open to all students in attendance at PTA/PTSA schools where the program is sponsored. Each local unit, district or council establishes their own due dates which allow adequate time for judging and celebrating at that level. Local units and districts or councils then submit to the state level at the established due date.
Please join the Michigan Reflections Network Facebook page to receive more information about Michigan PTA’s reflections program. Any leaders interested in chairing or co-chairing the MIPTA Reflections committee should call or email the committee. We need to keep this committee strong and growing and we need you!
This year's theme is: I Matter Because...
Have fun!! If you have any questions please contact Michigan PTA at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Michigan PTA (734) 975-9500.
Thank you for all you do to promote art in your PTA/PTSA!
Michigan PTA Reflections Committee
This course is designed to guide Reflections Chairs in managing their Reflections programs while providing their communities with valuable experiences in the arts.