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.

For Reflections questions, please email

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 Theme

The Reflections Theme for the 2016-17 school year is:

"What Is Your Story?"


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.

"Enjoy The Journey" - McKay Nelson, Foothill Elementary

"My Happy Place" - Emma Williams, Elk Meadows Elementary

"My Superpower Is ... " - Seth Robison, Liberty Elementary

"Building A Better Tomorrow" - Emma Maestri, Oquirrh Hills Middle

"If You Believe ..." - Drew McClement, South Jordan Elementary




Attached Documents: 

Entry Forms

The Student Entry Form and Artist Statement Form have been made "Fillable" so you can fill them out on the computer instead of having to hand-write everything.  Download the file(s) to your computer then you can fill it out and print it. You can alsoprint these forms and fill them in by hand.  (When you print the fillable pdf, the highlighted squares will not print.)  

Please NOTE:  The Student Entry Form MUST have handwritten signatures on it, typed names, in this case, do not give consent.

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

OoPs - We screwed up! The Student Entry Form in the 2016-2017 Reflections Local Leaders Guide is last years. It can still be used but the theme at the top of the page is incorrect. The form posted here is updated and correct. Sorry about that!

General & Arts Category Rules Pages

There are 2 rules pages that students need, the 16-17 Official Rules for Participation page AND the Rules for the arts category which they plan to enter, ie: 16-17 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.

A Special Artist Information page is included below as well.  It gives information regarding the Special Artist Division, who is eligible and how they enter.

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


PTA Reflections Winners

For the Utah PTA Reflections winners for the 2016-2017 school year , please click on link below.