Get In on Reflections!

Reflections is an art appreciation PTA program that lets students, families, schools, and communities come together to support the arts. This 50+ year-old, program helps youth explore their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas, develop artistic literacy, increase confidence, and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful in school and in life. To offer Reflections at your school site, all that is required to get started is a Reflections Chair who can lead the effort. Most of the work for this program takes place during September/December. The rest of the time you will be keeping an eye on any artwork that has moved forward, communicate with your school and push next year’s theme.

I wanted to let you know about a PTA program that celebrates the Arts in your school. Reflections is a National PTA Art Program encouraging students to explore their creativity. Reflections was started in 1969 to help promote the arts in public schools. It is designed to provide an opportunity for students of all grades and abilities to express themselves and to receive positive recognition for their artistic efforts. Each year, the PTA Reflections Program challenges students to create art inspired by a specific theme.

The 2023-2024 theme is “ I am Hopeful Because…”.  Artwork is collected by schools with PTA’s in place and then judged at the school level. Select pieces from each school are then forwarded to Council (if in a Council area) or Peralta District level (if the school is out of Council), and then go through the judging process again to be forwarded to Peralta District/State, and lastly, the National level. Peralta covers all of Alameda County.

Reflections has six art categories: Visual Arts (painting, drawing, and also 3-D artwork such as sculpture), Photography, Literature, Film Production, Dance Choreography, and Music Composition.

To be part of this program It is imperative to find a volunteer to be your Reflections Chair as soon as possible, tomorrow at best.  Then your school will be on the path to providing your students the chance to explore their creativity and look at the world around them in a new and different way. It is because of you and your time finding a Reflections Chair that your students will be recognized and celebrated for their creations. Give our kids a way to voice their needs, thoughts, and creativity through art and support the Reflections Program for 2023-2024. 

Now you have a chair, what do you do? First off, be on the lookout for an email on training for Reflections in August. Next, get them to download all the information they will need. Find Guidelines and rules here. Publish these on your school or PTA website.

Then it’s time to advertise, advertise, advertise!!!! Get the theme out there using social media or flyers. Emphasize the importance of working on artwork over the SUMMER. Most schools will have a due date in early FALL. Summer will be the best, least unhurried time for them to create.

Here are links to videos you can use to help promote the program and theme. 

Oh, and don’t forget to register with National PTA.

I’m looking forward to seeing your school participate this coming year.

Michelle Hertel

Peralta District PTA

Reflections Chair

Copy of July 14, 2023 email to contacts designated as president or vp leadership/organization

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