National PTA Kicks Off 50th Year of Reflections Arts Program with National Arts in Education Week

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 12, 2018)—In celebration of National Arts in Education Week, National PTA is kicking off its 2018-2019 Reflections® student art awards program. This school year marks the 50th anniversary of the program, which has inspired and engaged millions of students to explore their talents and express their ideas by creating works of art for fun and recognition.

“Participation in the arts builds students’ confidence, teamwork and sense of accomplishment. Involvement in the arts is also closely associated with students’ academic achievement, social and emotional development, and civic engagement,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “National PTA is thrilled to celebrate National Arts in Education Week and launch the 50th year of our Reflections program to provide all students the opportunity to participate in the arts to help them reach their full potential.”

Each year, the Reflections program encourages students of all ages to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice—dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography or visual arts—that reflect on the annual theme. There also is a special artist division to provide all students the opportunity to participate in the program. Submissions are reviewed by visual, literary and performing art experts, and students are recognized for their artistic ingenuity in bringing the theme to life. The 2018-2019 theme is “Heroes Around Me.”

Since 2010, the second week of September has been designated by the U.S. House of Representatives as National Arts in Education Week to spotlight the importance of arts education for all students. Throughout the week, PTAs and schools will host events and activities for students and families that connect with this year’s Reflections theme. Follow National Arts in Education Week through the hashtag #BecauseOfArtsEd and follow Reflections programs across the country through the hashtag #PTAReflections.

In addition to celebrating National Arts in Education Week and launching the 2018-2019 Reflections program, National PTA is pleased to announce that Tiffany Park Elementary School PTA in Renton, Wash. and Harvest Hill STEAM Academy PTA in Murrieta, Calif. have been recognized with its 2018 Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant. The grant is designed to empower PTAs and schools with resources to increase access to learning opportunities in the literary, media visual and/or performing arts for at-risk or underserved students.

“National PTA has long believed that all children deserve the opportunity to take part in the arts, recognizing the impact they have on student success, in the classroom and beyond,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA. “We are pleased to award Tiffany Park Elementary School PTA and Harvest Hill STEAM Academy PTA with our 2018 Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant for their commitment to ensuring that every child has access to and takes part in high-quality arts learning experiences.”

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.

Media Contact

Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@PTA.org, (703) 518-1242


PTAs and Schools Honored for Innovation and Excellence in Family Engagement

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Aug. 16, 2018)—National PTA is pleased to recognize three PTAs and schools with its 2018 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards—the highest honor presented by the association to celebrate family engagement.

Maple West Elementary PTA in Williamsville, N.Y. has been honored with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Family-School Partnership Award and a prize package including a $2,000 grant for their school. Laurens Middle School PTA in Laurens, S.C. and Boggess Elementary PTA in Murphy, Texas have been honored with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards of Merit.

“Our Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards—named after National PTA co-founder Phoebe Apperson Hearst—honor PTAs and schools that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in engaging families in student success and school improvements,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “We are thrilled to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of Maple West Elementary PTA, Laurens Middle School PTA and Boggess Elementary PTA with our 2018 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards.”

National PTA is pleased to also honor 278 PTAs and schools as 2018-2020 Schools of Excellence for their accomplishments in building strong, effective family-school partnerships that enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.

The School of Excellence program helps PTAs and school leaders partner to identify and implement an action plan for school improvement based on PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. The schools that achieve their goals by the end of the school year are honored as National PTA Schools of Excellence, a distinction that spans two years.

“When families are engaged and collaborate with schools, students do better in school and the schools improve,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “The efforts of these PTAs and schools are making a positive impact on family engagement, student success and school improvement, and we are pleased to designate them as 2018-2020 Schools of Excellence.”

Enrollment is now open for the School of Excellence program and consideration of the 2019-2021 School of Excellence designation. The deadline to enroll is Oct. 1. For more information about the program and to enroll, visit PTA.org/Excellence.

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.

Media Contact

Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@pta.org, (703) 518-1242