PTA Clinton, CT

2018-2019 Theme

"The Heroes Around Me"

Contest open to Clinton students in grades 6-12

Choose one or more categories below to submit original work that interprets the 2017-18 PTA Reflections theme:


Deadline: Thursday, December 6th

Once the entries & paperwork are complete - please place in the box in the main office of Morgan or Eliot. The boxes will be in place after Thanksgiving . Please email Kristin Cafferty at to notify the work was submitted. **Please note** Larger artwork should be hand delivered to Mrs. Cafferty. Email for arrangements.

PTA Reflections is a nationally acclaimed student recognition program to encourage artistic creativity in the classroom and at home. Students of all grades and abilities may participate and explore the arts based on the 2018-2019 theme: The Heroes Around Me

Students may choose one or all of the available arts categories:

Dance Choreography

Film Production


Music Composition


Visual Arts

** Please see links at the top of the home page for specifics on each category.

Why participate?

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Many high school students fail to enter art competitions, as they are daunted about the standard of work required (especially after viewing technically outstanding entries such as Shania McDonagh’s drawing above). They worry that their artwork would never compare to this and that they have no chance of winning; deciding the competition is not worth their time and effort. If you worry that you are not good enough, it is worth remembering that:

  1. No one needs to know that you have entered. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  2. Everyone else has the same fear as you, so the number of people who enter is surprisingly low – especially for competitions that are less well known (like many of the ones on this list). Of those who do enter, many are ‘whole class’ submissions, where a teacher has required whole class participation. Your serious competitors are far fewer than you think.
  3. Judges sometimes favour unexpected work – it is not always those who produce exceptionally realistic artwork who win. Your creative approach might be just what the judge is looking for.
  4. You may have already produced appropriate work as part of a school project or may be able to tailor an upcoming school project around a competition brief. Digital submissions can also mean it is possible to enter multiple competitions using the same work (check particular rules of each competition to make sure this is allowed), so this can mean that much less time is required to submit an entry.

From the article:

Submission - What is needed and when?

Deadline: Thursday, December 6th

Students submit their artwork to Local PTAs for initial judging. In Connecticut, local PTAs submit their 1st place winning entries to the State Office. Top entries from our State PTA Reflections contest advance to National PTA for the final round of judging. National PTA awards are announced each May.

Complete an entry form and submit along with artwork to Kristin Cafferty. Submissions can be placed in the Reflection boxes in the Eliot and Morgan main office for pick up.

Please include your arts category, division and full name on submission envelope.

Students will need to include an artist statement with their submission. **See artist statement information on the tab above.


  • By submitting an artwork to the "National PTA Reflections Program," entrants accept and agree to be bound by the official rules for participation as well as the entry requirements for their specific arts category and division. Additional state program requirements may apply. Any violation of these may, at PTA's discretion, result in disqualification. All decisions of the reviewers regarding this program are final and binding in all respects.
  • Eligibility. Students must participate through a local PTA/PTSA. Each student's eligibility is determined by the state and local PTA/PTSA. A student may develop an entry inside or outside of school.
  • Arts Categories. There are six arts categories - dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. Students may enter the National PTA Reflections Program in one or more arts categories. See each arts category rules for additional entry requirements. ** Found on this site on the tabs above.
  • Grade Divisions. Students may enter in the appropriate division for their grade. Clinton currently participates in the Middles School: Grades 6-8 and High School: Grades 9-12 divisions.
  • How to Enter. Entrants must submit their artwork and student entry form to their local PTA/PTSA program according to local and state PTA procedures. Entrants must follow requirements and instructions specific to each arts category and division. Contact local PTA programs for deadlines and additional information.
  • Entry Requirements.
      • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the current year's theme may be submitted
      • Each entry must be the original work of one student only. An adult may not alter the creative integrity of a student's work. Because the program is designed to encourage and recognize each student's individual creativity, help from an adult or collaboration with other students is not allowed except in the Special Artist Division. Other individuals may appear in or perform a student's work, but the work itself must be the creative product of one student only. Only one student may be recognized as the award recipient for each entry.
      • Each entry must contain a title and all entries must include an artist statement. The artist statement communicates what inspired the work, how it relates to the theme, and the content of the work. The statement must include at least 10 words and not exceed 100 words.
      • Use of copyrighted material is prohibited, except for background music in dance choreography and film production entries. If used in dance choreography and film production entries, background music must be cited on the entry form. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified. Use of PowerPoint templates are prohibited.
  • Finalist Selection and Notification. Entries are reviewed at local, regional, state and national levels. Each PTA determines its own reviewers for the program. Entries will be reviewed primarily on how well the student uses their artistic vision to portray the theme, their originality and creativity. The National PTA Reflections program makes no restrictions on content or subject matter in artwork. Under no condition may parents or students contact a reviewer to dispute the status/score of any entry. Each PTA in its sole discretion will select finalists for exhibition and provide awards/prizes. Awards are announced per local and state procedures. National awards and events are announced May 1, 2018 at
  • Ownership and License. Ownership in any submission shall remain the property of the entrant, but entry into this program constitutes entrant's irrevocable permission and consent that PTA may display, copy, reproduce, enhance, print, sublicense, publish, distribute and create derivative works for PTA purposes. PTA is not responsible for lost or damaged entries. Submission of entry into the PTA Reflections program constitutes acceptance of all rules and conditions.
  • Participating Entities. This program is administered by the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and PTA affiliates. Parent groups not affiliated with National PTA are not eligible to sponsor this program.

Review Criteria - How will the work be judged?

Interpretation: How closely the piece relates to the theme, based on the artwork itself and the artist statement.

Creativity: How creative and original the piece is in its conception of the theme and its presentation.

Technique: The level of skill demonstrated in the basic principles/techniques of the arts area.

Contact Clinton PTA's Reflection Program Chair - Kristin Cafferty

National Award Winner Examples

National PTA Reflections Website

Connecticut PTA Reflections Website

History of Reflections

The National PTA Reflections program is PTA’s cornerstone arts program. It 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. Each year, students in Grades Pre-K through 12 are recognized for bringing the theme to life through dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.​

Students submit their artwork to Local PTAs for initial judging. In Connecticut, local PTAs submit their 1st place winning entries to the State Office. Top entries from our State PTA Reflections contest advance to National PTA for the final round of judging. National PTA awards are announced each May.