Every year since 1969, Reflections – the National PTA’s arts recognition and achievement program – gives students in Pre-K thru 12th grade, the chance to create artwork in six art categories: Visual Arts, Photography, Literature, Dance Choreography, Film Production, and Music Composition.  Students explore the arts, express themselves AND receiving recognition for their efforts!

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Annual Theme Search Contest

Each Fall students submit ideas for a future theme.  Ideas are this year are due by November 1, 2021 to Illinois PTA.  Local leaders can access “Theme Search” materials on under LEADERSHIP RESOURCES.  To learn more, find information from about the annual theme search competition.


2021-2022 THEME: “I Will Change the World By…”

Specific Guidelines:


To allow student artwork to be recognized and judged with the appropriate developmental age and skill levels in mind, the Reflections Program is organized by school grade, offering 5 divisions:

  • Primary: preschool-grade 2
  • Intermediate: grades 3-5
  • Middle/Junior: grades 6-8
  • Senior: grades 9-12
  • Special Artist: all grades, see special artist guidelines for details.


21-22 Reflections Local Leaders Guide

Advancing Projects Spreadsheet (download)
Local Unit PTA Participation Form (fillable)
Council PTA Participation Form (fillable)

Access more resources directly from Illinois PTA from the “Reflections” section of the LEADERSHIP RESOURCES on the website.  Contact your local unit president our council president for the password.

Take “Reflections Leader Training” eLearning course (Home/ Run Your PTA/ eLearning) to advance PTA’s mission.  Note, in order to access this training you must first have an online profile set up with National PTA (it’s free and easy to do online).

2021-2022 Key Dates:

  • November 1 – Suggested student submission due date (determined by each local unit; check with your specific PTA for their deadline)
  • November 5 – Recommended due date for councils to have their local units deliver advancing projects
  • December 9 – Projects due from councils to region (NWCR/D37)
  • January 15 – Projects due from region to state (IL PTA)
  • March 15 – NWCR Reflections Reception (Virtual Ceremony from 2021)
  • Mid-March – Projects due from state to National PTA, state winners announced
  • May 1 – Illinois PTA Reflections Spotlight Event (Virtual Presentation from 2021)
  • Beginning of May – National winners announced

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National PTA School of Excellence is a recognition program that supports and celebrates partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.
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