State & National Winners
The National PTA Reflections program is PTA’s cornerstone arts program. It was developed in 1969 by Colorado’s PTA President Mary Lou Anderson to encourage students to explore their talents and express themselves. Since then, the Reflections Program has inspired millions of students to reflect on a specific theme and create original artwork. Each year, students in Grades Pre-K through 12 are recognized for bringing the theme to life through dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.
Students submit their artwork to Local PTAs for initial judging. Avon Lake PTA submits their Best of Show winning entries to the State Office. Top entries from our State PTA Reflections contest advance to National PTA for the final round of judging. National PTA awards are announced each May.
Theme Search Contest
One theme idea will be selected to spark fun and creativity during the 2020-2021 Reflections program. The student who submits the winning entry will receive $100 prize from National PTA. Theme Search judges look for a focused and clear theme promoting PTA values that is appropriate for all grades and applicable to all arts categories. Join the search for a future theme by entering the annual Theme Search Contest.
ALCS PTA Council
About the Committee
This committee promotes and coordinates the National PTA Reflections program, a celebration of children’s creativity. This committee will work to distribute rules and regulations of this program, collect entries, display works, coordinate judging, and host an Awards Show at ALHS. They are responsible for sending the winners in each category on to district and then state competitions.
Reflections School Chairs
Only new and original works inspired by the theme will be accepted. Enter in 1 or more of the following arts categories.
To allow student artworks to be recognized and judged with the appropriate developmental age and skill levels in mind, the Reflections Program is organized by school grade, offering 5 divisions:
Volunteer arts and education experts review submissions without knowledge of the entrants’ identity. Judges look for personal interpretations on the program theme that best exemplify creativity and technical skill.
Student Entry Form
Your submission must include a completed and signed Student Entry Form. Every entry requires a title and artist statement for judging and advancement to state.
In your artist statement, tell us about your work and what it means to you.
Frequently asked questions
The questions below are to help students, parents, and school Reflections Chairs.
Why are there so many rules - isn’t Reflections a program to encourage students to be creative?
Reflections does encourage creativity, but it is an art contest. Like all contests, there are guidelines, rules and deadlines. National PTA requires state PTAs to submit entries to the final level of judging following specific rules and guidelines. Ohio requires that entries submitted at the state level follow the same rules and guidelines National PTA requires. At the local PTA level, you are free to accept and award entries that do not meet the rules and guidelines. You should not, however, submit entries not in compliance with the rules and guidelines to the next level.
Do I have to be a member of my school's PTA in order to enter the Reflections Contest?
No! All Avon Lake students are welcome and eligible to enter the contest. You do not need to be a member of PTA to participate
Should I have the student sign their artwork?
No, the student should not sign any entry (art, photography or literature) on the front of the entry. The student can sign on the back. If a student does sign on the front, cover the signature with a “sticky note” before you submit it to the judges
Does each entry require a hard-copy Student Entry Form?
Yes. Each student MUST complete the entry forms on paper for all entries submitted. You need to be able to keep track of the entries you receive. The judges need to have the title and the artist’s statement for each entry.
Why is a title and an artist’s statement required on each entry?
Each student is required to have a title for his/her entry and must write a short summary/artist’s statement explaining how the entry relates to the theme - maximum 100 words. Our judges have found these statements VERY helpful in understanding why the entry was important to the child.
When I give the judges my entries, how do I make them anonymous?
Each entry will have an entry form. The judges only need to see the info up to the student’s personal information on the entry form. This allows the judge to see the information about the entry, but not the student’s name. On CDs/DVDs, cover the student’s name on the CD/DVD with blue painter’s tape. Or, if possible, compile all your entries onto a single CD/DVD with a coding system for the judges. They appreciate only having to use one CD/DVD. Be sure to have extra copies, in case there are problems.
What if my student saves his/her entry in a different format than what is requested?
Your school chairperson should catch these issues before submitting the entries for judging. Go back to the student and make sure it is in the required format (see Abridged Guidelines). They should play the entry before they give it to the judges. If the judges can’t play the entry, they can’t judge it!
What does “sturdy backing” mean for visual arts and photography entries?
This means that the entry must be mounted in a way that it cannot be folded, rolled or bent. Acceptable backing includes foam core, press board, canvas board, cardboard (solid piece no seams or folds), and thick mat board. Poster board, card stock, scrapbooking paper, construction paper, wood framed canvas, and glass are NOT acceptable backing materials. Entries (at state level) not mounted on a sturdy backing may be disqualified. An entry that is surrounded by a mat but is not backed to prevent folding, rolling or bending may be disqualified. ***This backing is NOT required unless an entry is sent to Ohio PTA for state judging***
Can I use judges from my school to judge my entries?
I recommend you find judges outside of your school. These can be a teacher from a different school, a retired teacher/librarian, a children’s author, etc. Your selection of judges should be perceived as completely “fair” for all entries. See judging information in the training packet for “tips”.
What if the student submits an art/photography entry with literature in it, or vice versa?
The student should decide in which category to submit the entry and it will be judged in that category only.
Can a student submit an entry in more than one category or multiple entries in the same category?
A student cannot submit the same entry in more than one category. However, a student can (and should!) submit multiple different entries in many categories! For example, a student could submit 2 different VA entries and a Photography entry. Each entry requires a separate student entry form.
Can more than one person enter on one single entry?
Each entry must be the work of only one student. In the categories of Dance, Music Composition and Film Production, read the rules that detail specifically who can be in the entry versus creating it. Be sure your entries follow those rules.
What if a student does not follow the directions for the category?
If it is early enough, try to get the student to modify his/her entry. If it is late, go ahead and judge it. However, at the state level, we will not be able to consider any entries that do not follow the rules/directions for each category. We encourage you to catch it early, so the children are not disappointed. Be sure to read the “fine print” as there are detailed formatting specifications for each category.
What if a student uses copyrighted material in his/her entry?
Use of copyrighted material is prohibited in the Literature, Music Composition, Visual Arts and Photography categories. Use of copyrighted material in Dance and Film Production is acceptable when the title, composer, and performer of any music in the submission are cited on the student entry form. Photography, Visual Arts and Film Production may include public places, well-known products, trademarks or other copyrighted material as long as that copyrighted material is incidental to the subject matter of the piece and is a smaller element of the whole. Visual Arts collages may include portions of existing copyrighted works, as long as those pieces are used to create a completely new and different work of art.
What is the Council/District info requested on the top of the student entry form?
Our Council is Avon Lake Council PTA and our district is the 7th District. Fill this in before you copy the form!
What do I fill in in the Local PTA section at the bottom of the student entry form?
Add your name, your school name and address, your personal email (to contact you with questions) and your phone. Check the box “Local PTA good standing status” for each of the categories listed. You will need to obtain the dates from your PTA President. This is very important, as they are checking this information now. Fill in this info BEFORE you make copies of the form, so you don’t have to do it repeatedly.
Is the Special Artist Division a “judged” category?
It is a judged category, as it is judged against entries in its own division. For example, if you have 2 VA entries in the Special Artist division, you would have them judged just as you would for your other age levels. Keep them separate so they are judged against each other, not included in another grade level.
How many entries can be forwarded to Ohio State?
Councils with 3 – 15 PTA Units nay submit up to 28 entries to Ohio PTA.
What do I need to do to the entries before they are submitted to Council?
Check the rules sheet for each category. Visual Arts and Photography must be protected and delivered in an art portfolio. Attach a clear sheet protector with the student entry form to the back of the artwork. Literature entries must have 2 copies + 1 original work and the student entry form, included in an 8.5 x 11 manila envelope. Check the format requirements for Music Composition, Film Production and Dance Choreography. These should be submitted with the entry form in an 8.5 x 11 manila envelope.
How do I get money for the costs to run my Reflections program?
Your school PTA should have money in their budget to support the PTA Reflections Program. This will vary by school. Check with your PTA President.
2019-20 Ohio PTA Reflections Winners
Clink the link below for a list of the state winners.
2018 NATIONAL PTA REFLECTIONS
2017 National PTA Reflections