Reflections

For Reflections questions, please email reflections@utahpta.org

Click here to review the "Frequently Asked Questions"

National PTA Reflections welcomes, free of charge, students from all grades and abilities to explore and be involved in the arts. Annually, thousands of students will reflect on a common theme and create original works of art in the categories of Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts.

The arts—and the National PTA Reflections program—support student success and serve as a valuable tool for building strong partnerships in your school community. Celebrate arts learning in your school community with Reflections.

Started in 1969 by (then) Colorado State PTA President, Mary Lou Anderson, Reflections has since become an international program as PTAs in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and US military schools overseas have joined the 50 states to participate in this program.

Each year a Theme Search Contest is held where students can submit ideas for upcoming years. Entries are narrowed down to 5 per state and then the National PTA Reflections Committee makes a final selection.

PTA parents volunteer their time to work with Utah PTA and learn about the Reflections program and then host it in their schools.  They inform students of the theme, distribute rules and entry forms, collect and judge art and recognize students for their efforts.  This can be a time consuming job.  Our Utah PTA prents have continually been outstanding and have done their very best to serve our students who want to participate in the arts.

Reflections uses a judging process that assists in narrowing down the number of entries as artwork passes through different levels of PTA. In Utah we generally have between 10,000 and 13,000 entries submitted each year, nationally around 300,000 entries are submitted.

There are 2 awards given by PTA - the Award of Excellence and the Award of Merit. The Award of Excellence award is given to the entries that are judged to be the best in their category.  These entries then move on to the next level of judging. The Award of Merit recipients are the runners up and are recognized at the school, council and region level. If a school (council and region) desires, they can also offer additional awards such as Honorable Mention or Participation awards. National and Utah PTA encourage schools to hold an assembly or event of some sort that recognizes not only the students who receive awards but all students that participate. If this is done and how it is handled is up to the school/council/region.

How artwork advances in Utah - In Utah, our state is broken into 21 Regions.  Eleven of those regions are large enough that they are then broken into Councils (we have 56 Councils.)  The council and region leaders work with Utah PTA to train and oversee the PTA programs held in the schools.  When the Award of Excellence winners advance from their school they move to Council or Region, depending on your area.  Students artwork must receive an Award of Excellence to advance through these levels and then to Utah PTA. If they receive an Award of Excellence at the state level, they are then advanced to National PTA for the final round of judging. Each level in the PTA is allowed to forward on up to 30 entries - 5 for each of the 6 arts categories.

 

General & Arts Category Rules Pages and Forms

There are 2 rules pages that students need, the 18-19 Official Rules for Participation page AND the Rules for the arts category which they plan to enter, ie: 18-19 Rules Literature.  

A Rules Summary page is included below which has very brief definitions of each category's rules.  To ensure that students are following all rules for participation, they need to have access to both the Rules for Participation and Rules page for their specific arts category along with the Rules Summary page.

Information about Special Artist entries is included in the Official Rules.

Students may submit multiple entries - only one (1) entry per arts category

 

Register for Reflections

 

To register your PTA Click Here
pta.org/reflections

Who Is Eligible to Participate in Reflections?

Reflections is a program offered to students who are enrolled in a PTA school.  For Secondary Schools (Middle/Jr and High Schools) you need to be enrolled in a class that offers credits to participate.  For Elementary schools you need to be enrolled for one class offered during school hours to participate. For questions please contact reflections@utahpta.org

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the questions below, many of your concerns or questions are addressed.  There is also a PDF of the questions attached at the bottom of this page.

When are entries due at my school?
To find out the due date for your school, ask your PTA President.  If you do not know how to contact your PTA president, call the front office and they can put you in touch with him/her.  If you are the chair at a school, you set your own deadline. If you still need help, send an email to reflections@utahpta.org

When are entries due to the next level? 
State PTA allows each level to set their own due dates.  To find out when your entries are due to the next level, contact either your council president or region director if you live in a region without councils.  Don’t know who they are? Ask your PTA president. If you still need help, send an email to reflections@utahpta.org

My school has a PTA but isn’t hosting Reflections?  What do I do?
Are you an adult?  If not, show this to your parent or guardian. This is the perfect opportunity for you to make a huge difference in the lives of children in your community.  If your school isn’t participating, offer to help out. If this sounds overwhelming, we can walk you through the process. Send an email to reflections@utahpta.org.

My school doesn’t belong to the PTA?  Can we still have Reflections?
Reflections is a PTA program.  If your school is not a PTA school, but would like to start a PTA, go to http://www.utahpta.org/form/start-begin-here and we’ll help you join!  Belonging to PTA is inexpensive and comes with enormous benefits, including a powerful voice of advocacy for children at our state legislature.  

Why do the entries ALL have to have a manila envelope?
The manila envelope is used to hold optional comment cards from judges, awards, and certificates.  This is especially useful for entries that advance beyond the local level when the student does not come to the award ceremony.  The manila envelope ensures that nothing is lost as the entry makes its way back to the student.

Does the artwork go in the manila envelope?  
If the artwork is small enough to place inside of the manila envelope, please do so.  If it is larger than the manila envelope, tape the envelope to the back of the artwork.

Can two or more students create a piece together?
No.  All Reflections entries must be the original work on one student only. However, other people may appear in the artwork of a student such as performing in a dance or acting in a film.  

A student appears in his/her photography entry?  What do I do?
Students are required to be the photographers for the photography category. Before disqualifying an entry, ask the student to tell you about how he/she took the photo.  Sometimes technology or clever techniques were used that allowed the student to photograph him/herself.

Can someone help a student write the notation for a song?
Once a student is in 6th grade or higher, he/she can only enter the music category if he/she has the technical ability to notate the music. Programs exist where songs may be played on a digital keyboard and are then automatically transcribed into sheet music, but they are flawed to the extent that they must be reviewed and corrected by someone with the technical ability to have written it out by hand in the first place.   The student must do the notating by his/herself.

How do I tell if an entry is 2D or 3D?
At the National level, 2D and 3D are combined as Visual Arts.  In Utah we loosely interpret 2D art as a picture that you would hang on the wall.  There is some flexibility here. You may choose at your school to apply a stricter definition, but, if you do, tell the students BEFORE they create their artwork.  If it is possible to leave artwork in the category it was submitted under, that is the best course of action.

Does 3D art require digital images?
3D art no longer requires digital images, just printed photos.  

When is the consent form required?
Consent is required if the recognizable voice or image of a person, other than the entrant, is in the artwork.  This applies to voice recordings, film, dance, photography, and visual art. Parents or guardians give consent for minors.  Adults give consent for themselves.

How do students turn in their films, dance, and music submissions?
Currently, CDs or USBs are accepted.Starting in 2019-2020, Utah PTA will only accept these types of entries on USB drives.  CDs will no longer be accepted. More and more computers do not have CD drives, making it difficult to judge entries. See the rules for each category for format details.  

Where are the entry forms on the website?
Everything you need, can be found on the tabs on the right.  The entry forms are under General and Arts Categories Rules Pages and Forms.

Can students use Legos in their 3D art or Film entries?  
Yes. As long as the legos are used as a building material for 3D art, it is fine to use them.  The entry needs to be an original creation rather than a kit. For film, legos may be used, but use of copyrighted characters needs to be incidental rather than the focus of the film.  A film about Batman using a Lego Batman would violate copyright laws.

Why does it take so long to get winning artwork back from state or nationals?
Because PTA is run mostly by volunteers, artwork is usually returned in a way that saves money and the time of the volunteers. Artwork that makes it all the way to the national level of competition could be kept for as long as 2 years.  A select number of state winners are also kept and displayed for the school year following the competition.

How is artwork returned?
At the state level, artwork is returned at a state board meeting to a region director.  He/she passes it on to the region Reflections specialist who gives it to the council presidents at their monthly meetings. The council presidents then give the artwork to the local PTA presidents at their monthly meetings.  The local presidents then return the artwork at the school. In regions without councils, the artwork is given directly from region to local. Students with artwork that competed at the state level, but did not win, can expect to receive it back by the end of the calendar year in which state judging took place.  Artwork that competed at the region level, but did not advance to state, should be returned by the end of the school year in which the competition took place.

How do I know what region I’m in?
Regions are divided up by school districts.  We have 21 regions in Utah. They are:

1- Box Elder
2- Ogden/Weber
3- Davis
4- Salt Lake
5- Granite
6- Jordan
7- Toole
8- North Summit/Park City/Wasatch
9- Alpine
10- Nebo/Provo
11- Uintah/Duchesne
12- Carbon/Emery
13- South Sanpete/North Sanpete
15- Seviere/Millard
16- Beaver/Iron/Garfield
17- Canyons
18- Grand County
19- Murray
20- Kane County/Washington
21- Cache/Logan/Rich

 

Reflections Theme

The Reflections Theme for the 2018-2019 school year is:

"Heroes Around Me"

 

2018-19 National PTA Reflections Theme Search

Join the search for a future program theme!

 

National PTA Reflections sponsors a student‐focused Theme Search Contest annually to determine a future program theme. The National winner will be selected in January and will receive $100 and recognition at the National PTA Convention.

Below are the 5 winning entries selected by the Board of Directors at their meeting in November. They have been sent to National for judging at that level.

 

"Look Within" - Enashele Campbell, H Guy Child Elementary PTA

"In a Blink of an Eye" - Sienna Fairclough, Rosamond Elementary PTA

"In the future" - Timothy Dick , Rosamond Elementary PTA

"Find Joy in the Journey" - Caroline Morgan,  E.M. Whitesides Elementary PTA

"Power Within" - Maycie Reich, Monte Vista Elementary PTA

 

CONGRATULATIONS to Enashele Campbell whose entry "Look Within" was selected by National PTA as the Reflections Theme for the 2019-2020 Reflections program year!!

Reflections Due Date

Understanding that calendars vary from region to region, the only deadline Utah PTA sets is the day Region entries are due to the state, which is Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019.

Those Regions who do not have a Region Director, entries are due January 7th, 2019. If you are not sure if you have a Region DIrector, please send us an email.

Region, councils (where applicable) and schools all set their own guidelines. Please contact your school to find out when entries are due.

 

Local Leaders Information - Reflections Chairs Only

Register Your PTA

  • Visit PTA.org/Reflections, click “Register My PTA” and enter your PTA’s 8-digit ID number.
  • Enter your PTA Name, City, State, ZIP.
  • Enter the  PTA Leader Name, Title, Address, City, State, ZIP.  **This should be the Reflection Specialist Info**
  • Enter your School Name, Number of Students Enrolled, Title I Status (Y/N), Percent of students who receive free/reduced priced lunches.
  • Enter additional contacts who wish to receive program communications from State and National PTA. 
  • Click “Submit” and receive a confirmation email

PTA Reflections Winners 2017 - 2018

 For a list of the Utah PTA Reflections winners for the 2017-2018 school year, please click on link below.

The Shop PTA Reflections Awards

Need Reflections awards? Check out what National PTA has for you at ShopPTA.com