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PTA Reflections Cultural Arts Program

Reflections is a National PTA cultural arts recognition program that helps students explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas; develop artistic literacy; increase confidence and creativity; develop critical thinking and problem solving skills; and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful not only in school, but in life.

Students in pre-K through Grade 12 create original works of art in response to a theme. The theme for the 2023-2024 program year is “I am Hopeful Because…” Students submit their completed works of art in one, or all, of the available arts categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts.

While the primary focus of Reflections is a celebration of creativity and the arts, student artists receive positive recognition at their schools, and finalists move on to their council/region for review and recognition. Finalists then advance to Colorado State PTA, where Gold Award winners then advance to the National PTA round for judging. Last year’s National PTA Reflections award-winning entries can be found here.
More Information on National PTA Reflections
23-24 theme  

Contact your school PTA/PTSA for more information on how your student can participate. Questions? Contact We can help your student artist get involved, or help your school learn how to offer this amazing program to celebrate the arts and arts education!

Please share your participation with National PTA by completing this registration form. Registering for Reflections helps National PTA show the wide reach of our beloved program and the importance of the arts!

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Colorado PTA Reflections program

The National PTA Cultural Arts Reflections Program is America’s oldest and largest arts education program of its kind. The program 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. In 2021 Mary Lou Anderson was inducted into the Colorado Women’s History Hall of Fame. Her family has continued to support the program through Colorado PTA, and we are proud to continue her legacy. The goal of Colorado PTA is to be a resource for PTA leaders by partnering with schools to provide opportunities for all students to explore and be involved in the arts. We support student success and the Reflections program serves as a valuable tool for building strong partnerships in your school community. When PTAs and schools work together to support arts education, they:

  1. Encourage all students—despite individual challenges—to explore ideas, express their individuality and support their peers in a positive way;
  2. Provide all students with an academic advantage by increasing student engagement and teacher effectiveness, which leads to increased school attendance rates and social connectedness among students; and
  3. Enhance family engagement by connecting families and schools to one another and to their communities.
National PTA accepts theme submission for students each year. The student who submits the winning entry receives $100 and his or her theme will be presented at the annual National PTA Convention. Repeat themes are not considered. The due date for submitting a theme search entry is typically November 1.
Past themes you can see here. Please visit for more information!
Step 1: Start the ArtsTake the Reflections Leader e-learning course to walk through a step-by-step process for engaging students, parents and educators in Reflections while learning about resources and tools provided by your State PTA and National PTA.

1) National PTA Reflections Rules
2) Access a Local Leader’s Guide, and find state-specific dates, forms and additional information HERE.
3) For more information and to register, contact your local council or region: Jeffco Council website, El Paso Council website, and for Denver Council, email For units in regions without a council, email
4) Kick-off your program with National Arts in Education Week.
5) Consider the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships to ensure your Reflections program meets its intended potential.
Step 2: Organize and Plan Your ProgramRecruit a committee/team of volunteers to assist with program tasks. Also, recruit community arts professionals to review artwork and determine awards.

1) Customize your PTA Leader Checklist to organize tasks and schedule deadlines.
2) Build your PTA Arts Committee with this Volunteer Sign-Up Sheet.
3) Recruit community arts professionals to serve as judges.
Step 3: Promoting ReflectionsAnnounce your call for entries using PTA, school, and community communication channels. Be sure to include a deadline and drop off location as well as submission instructions.

1) Announce your Call for Entries using this themed flier.
2) Distribute the Student Entry Form, rules and instructions provided by your State PTA. For reference, see National PTA Official Rules.
3) Consider these Tips for Program Promotion.
4) Create your own promotions: Customize themed posters with National PTA resources (En Español), or have fun creating your own using these image files: .
*Reflections logo (JPEGEPSPNG)
*Category Images: Dance Choreography; Film Production; Literature; Music Composition; PhotographyVisual ArtsSpecial Artist
Step 4: Organize Artwork for Judging1) Collect submissions and organize by Arts Category and Grade Division. Qualify submissions according to program rules and address student ineligibility, as needed.
2) Prepare submissions for Judges’ review and provide Judging Guidelines and a Score Card to each judge. Judges will review artwork and judging information provided on the student’s entry form.
3) Collect judges scores and rank entries. Assign awards by grade division and arts category. Award levels may include Award of Excellence; Award of Merit; Honorable Mention; Participant.
Step 5: Celebrate and Recognize Your Participants1) Use the Reflections celebration guide to help plan your event.
2) Promote your event and celebrate students using all of your PTA and school communications tools. Invite local media to attend to generate visibility for your school and PTA. Media Advisory Template.
3) Present the Certificate of Recognition and other awards available at the PTA Store.
4) Learn about state and national awards for students and PTAs.
Step 6: Wrap Up1) Thank school staff, community partners, judges and parent volunteers using this Thank-you Letter for Volunteers.
2) Organize feedback using the program evaluation found in the Reflections Local Leaders Guide.
3) Submit student participation totals.
Would you like to be part of the our Reflections Committee? We are looking for members with local, council, or state Reflections experience to join the committee! Find out what happens to your students’ art after you submit it and be a part of a program that serves all PTAs in Colorado state! The committee is most active between January and May; tasks take place at convention and much can be done from home. Contact