The Reflections Program, which celebrates artistry and achievement in the arts and is sponsored by the National PTA, is celebrating their fiftieth anniversary, the theme this year is Look Within.
From Pre-K through twelfth grade, more than 300,000 students nationwide create works of art in categories including dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. First the entries are judged at the district level, the state level and then the national level by the PTA. At the district level, there are 28 entries allowed in all four grades and all six categories. Freshman Katie Nowakowski had a music composition that won at the state level and received an honorable mention at the National level last year.
At Revere, the PTA has four chairpersons. Chairs are the people that advertise the program and get the word out. PTA member since her oldest daughter was in kindergarten, Amy Furukawa, has been a chair member on the PTA and has been a part of the Reflections Program since 2011.
“I put out a call for entries by putting up signs throughout the high school, asking the morning announcers to read some announcements, and trying to get advertisements in school and PTA newsletters. Once the entries are collected. I check them to make sure they are complete and correct, then pass them along to the local judges,” she said.
Another PTA member, Karen Smik also joined the PTA when her oldest started kindergarten in 1985.
“I wanted to be involved with the schools, and I have remained active ever since. Besides being the Revere Council of PTAs President, I’m also a member of the high school PTSA and chair the Revere Schools Celebration of the Arts. I can’t tell you exactly how long I’ve been involved with the Reflections Program but it’s been more than ten years for sure,” she said.
If someone would like to enter in a category, there are a few requirements that are needed to submit an entry.
“Judging criteria includes theme interpretation [which is] how closely the piece relates to the theme. Students must title their work and provide a mandatory statement between 10-100 words explaining how their entry relates to the theme and this weighs heavily in the judging,” Smik said.
Besides theme interpretation, judges also critique creativity and technique. Although the Reflections Program is not part of a specific class, some teachers like to incorporate the program into their class. English teacher Alan Silvidi uses the Reflections Program as extra credit for students.
“I think this gives [students] an opportunity to show themselves writing-wise in a different way than they normally write in class. They can write creatively whereas normally in this class they are only writing essays, and it really gives them an opportunity to shine in a way that I don’t normally see from them,” he said.
Entries for the Reflections program are due on December 6 and the Reflections Celebration will take place on January 9.