I Matter Because…: Arts Creativity in Students Honored by National PTA

National PTA Honors Students for Their Creativity and Talents in the Arts

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- National PTA is pleased to announce the winners of its 2020-2021 Reflections® student art program. The awards honor creative interpretations of the theme "I Matter Because…" in the following categories: special artist, dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. Seven students have been honored with the Outstanding Interpretation Award, and over 200 students have been recognized with Awards of Excellence and Merit.

The Outstanding Interpretation Award recipients are:

Zoe Caraballo 
Green Township PTA, New Jersey
Film Production: "I Matter" 

Maeryn Elizabeth Jacob 
Lawton Chiles Middle School PTSA, Florida
Photography: "Youthful Guardian" 

Joshua Johnson
Bennion Jr. High PTSA, Utah
Literature: "The Voice In My Head" 

Claire Moon 
Rachel Carson Middle School PTA, Virginia
Visual Arts: "My Pieces of Quilt" 

Johan Novak 
Odle Middle School PTSA, Washington
Music Composition: "Legacy" 

Mark Wagner 
Dana Hills High School PTSA, California
Special Artist, Dance Choreography: "I Speak With My Dancing" 

Sydney Ware 
Dekalb School of the Arts PTSA, Georgia
Dance Choreography: "In This Shirt" 

"We applaud all of the students who participated in the Reflections program this school year, and we are thrilled to recognize the recipients of the Outstanding Interpretation Award as well as the Awards of Excellence and Merit," said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. "Participating in the arts helps students express their thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions, which is especially important to support children's well-being during this time in our country."

The Outstanding Interpretation Award recipients will each receive an $800 scholarship to further their artistic talents, and their local PTA will be awarded $200 to support arts and culture in their community. Award of Excellence recipients will receive a $200 scholarship. All national award recipients receive a medallion and certificate and will be honored during the 2021 National PTA Virtual Convention & Expo.

Each year, the National PTA Reflections program encourages students of all ages to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice that reflect on the annual theme. Submissions are reviewed by arts experts, and students are recognized for their artistic technique and ingenuity in bringing the theme to life. Over 300,000 students in pre-K through grade 12 from across the country and in U.S. schools overseas created original works of art as part of the 2020-2021 Reflections program.

The National PTA Reflections program is sponsored by Proud National PTA Sponsor BAND, a free group communication app used by PTAs to connect with members, plan in-person and virtual events, and increase family engagement.

"For over 50 years, the National PTA Reflections program has provided opportunities for millions of students to access the arts and gain recognition, which boosts student confidence and success in and out of the classroom," added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. "National PTA appreciates BAND's support of the Reflections program, helping more students access the arts and experience the important benefits that come from participating in the arts."

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.

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