The Windham PTA Reflections Program is once again an annual tradition, growing stronger each year. The program officially kicked off in Windham in late October, and submissions will be accepted until November 17, 2017.
The local program is part of the National PTA Reflections Program. This national competition celebrates the arts in six categories. The Windham PTA will be accepting submissions in four of those categories: Photography, Visual Arts, Literature, and Music Composition.
The reason Windham does not participate in the other two categories, Dance Composition and Film Production, is due to limited volunteers, said Ernesta Kennedy, vice president of the Windham PTA.
“It’s a lot of work to pull this program together, and every category requires three judges. To be able to get judges for the other two categories would just be beyond our means,” she said. “We are as big as we can be.”
The Windham PTA re-started the program two years ago after a hiatus of several years. Since then, it has grown steadily, and last year brought over 100 submissions, Kennedy said.
The Recognition Banquet at the end of the program last year reflected the popularity of the program, with standing room only. “It was a great turn out. We’re hoping for that again this year,” Kennedy said. The banquet was an opportunity for all artists to display their work, and is where the winners were announced.
All twelve first place winners went to the state competition and ten of those students were finalists at the state level. The date of the 2018 banquet is not yet set, but will happen in late January or early February, Kennedy said.
“[Reflections] is another avenue for students to shine,” said Kennedy. “They can show their artistic ability and not have the pressure of it being school work.” All art work must be produced on the student’s own time, and be original work by the student. “It helps them strive for something new and different,” Kennedy said.
The Reflections Program theme is different each year. This year, the theme is “Within Reach.” Students can interpret that however they wish, letting their creativity take over.
Friday, November 17 is the firm deadline for submissions and all paperwork must be completed along with the submission of artwork. Kennedy said it’s very important that the form is entirely filled out, with attention to detail. She recommends that both parent and student review the rules, as they must be followed precisely to be eligible to win.
Reflections is open to students in all the Windham Schools, and submissions are welcome from all grade levels. Students will compete by grade level: Primary (K-2); Intermediate (3-5); Middle School (6-8) and High School (10-12). There is no fee to enter artwork. Any questions can be directed to the PTA at firstname.lastname@example.org.