Membership in the Massachusetts PTA provides the opportunity to participate in the National PTA Reflections program. This competition encourages students to explore the arts and express themselves by providing positive recognition for their artistic efforts. Since it was founded in 1969 by Mary Lou Anderson, millions of students have benefited from this program.
Reflections Awards Program Students in Pre-K through grade 12 create theme-based artwork in dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography or visual arts.
Massachusetts PTA encourages you to register your program with National PTA. Visit pta.org/home/programs/reflections to register. Once you have registered, you will have access to a digital toolkit of resources from the National PTA and the opportunity to connect with other PTA Reflections leaders.
Registration opens July 1, 2020, and will close on February 1, 2021.
“I Matter Because…”
That’s the theme for the 2020-2021 Reflections Art Program which has been bringing the arts to life for more than 10 million students since 1969. Massachusetts PTA and its members, families, and kids are at the forefront of this amazing program, which increases community awareness of the importance of arts in education.
PTA Reflections encourages students of all ages to:
- Unleash creative talents and be inspired
- Express themselves imaginatively in their artwork
- Experience the fun and joy of making art
- Tap into critical-thinking skills to create art inspired by the annual theme
- Receive positive recognition for their original works of art.
Participating is Easy, Exciting and Empowering
All students, Pre-K through Grade 12, attending PTA schools sponsoring the program are invited to participate and submit original artwork in one of six areas:
- Dance Choreography
- Film Production
- Music Composition
- Visual Arts
Artworks are submitted first to school-level PTAs, where they are first recognized, celebrated and judged by five grade-level divisions, while a non-judged Special Artist division celebrates student artists with special needs. The final artworks submitted to Massachusetts PTA by local school units are then considered for Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit and Honorable Mentions. Awards of Excellence entries then go on to represent Massachusetts in the final National PTA judging round.
National-level Outstanding Interpretation honorees are recognized at the National PTA Convention, plus their artwork, along with any National Award of Excellence and Merit winners, is featured in Reflections’ popular traveling national exhibit. See the winners.
National PTA Reflections sponsors a student-focused Theme Search Contest annually to determine a future program theme. Children and youth can submit a national theme to serve as the inspiration for Reflections artists and their original works. Students submitting the winning theme receive $100 and recognition at the National PTA Convention.
The theme search for 2022-23 will open soon.
Grants for the Arts Available
The National PTA Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant provides up to $1,000 in matching funds to support local PTA arts projects within their school community. Funded projects will increase access to learning opportunities in the literary, media, visual and/or performing arts for at-risk or underserved audiences. Arts projects must actively engage families and community partners to strengthen family-school partnerships. Eligible applicants must be a PTA in good standing, as determined by the State PTA.
Local Leader Tools
Here you can find information and resources you need to take your program to the next level, including promotional material, planning tools, judging resources, celebration ideas and more!
2020-2021 Local Leader’s Guide
The Local Leader’s Guide (en español) provides an overview of the steps necessary to host a program at your school. You’ll also find helpful tools to recruit and train volunteers as well as plan educational activities and family celebrations.
Use the following resources in addition to those provided by your State PTA!
- NEW!! General Reflections Flyer (.pdf) (Spanish) (English)
- NEW!! Call for Entries Video available on YouTube
- NEW!! Check out these Reflections At-Home Activities you can do with the whole family. Share these with families in your school community to help inspire them to create!
- 2020-21 Program Deadlines
- Student Certificate (.doc)
- Thank-you Letter for Volunteers (.doc)
- Program Evaluation (.doc)
- Reflections Celebration Guide (.pdf)
- Be sure to review General Rules for Reflections programs and entries.
- Take our E-Learning Course on how to plan, promote and celebrate your Reflections program.
- Check out this PowerPoint that you can also use to train co-chairs and school leaders.
Use the following tools to customize flyers and promotional materials. Encourage all students to participate!
Visit ShopPTA.com for promotional materials, awards and recognition supplies.
Students who participate in Massachusetts PTA programs must be from a PTA or PTSA that is in good standing. This includes up-to-date bylaws, dues paid by November 1, and as per National for Reflections, updated insurance information. If your PTA does not participate in the Reflections Program or you are not part of a PTA please contact us, firstname.lastname@example.org, to join the state wide Cranberry Unit PTA.