Reflections National Arts Contest

North Carolina PTA proudly encourages the opportunity for local units to participate in the National PTA Reflections Arts Program.Students in Pre-K through grade 12, and a special artist division, are invited to create theme-based artwork in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography or visual arts. This competition encourages students to themselves through artistic exploration by providing positive recognition for their artistic efforts. Since it was founded in 1969 by Mary Lou Anderson, millions of students have benefited from this program.


Students submit their completed work of art that falls within 6 different categories, or as a special artist, with an artist statement, to their local school PTA's Reflections contest in the Fall.

  • Local PTAs celebrate winners at the school level, and then forward winning entries in each age division and art category to their City/County Council PTA.  If your school is not located in a Council, then your school PTA's winning entries should be submitted directly to North Carolina  PTA for regional judging. 
  • Council PTAs select winning entries and submit winning entries for each age division and art category to North Carolina PTA. Council PTA's hold Student Awards Celebrations in late winter/early spring.

*Council PTA contact information can be found here for the 2023-2024 Reflections Program*

  • North Carolina PTA selects and submits state winning entries to National PTA to compete against students from across the United States, and holds a Reflections Awards Celebration in April. 
  • National PTA selects and announces winners of the national-level contest in May. 

* If your school PTA hasn't been sharing information about Reflections, reach out to your school PTA! They may need a volunteer to help organize the arts contest for your school community.  


  • Reflections Awards Ceremony: All NCPTA winners will be invited to an awards ceremony, celebrating their success. Their art, or a clip of their art will be displayed and a trophy or medal will be awarded.
  • Virtual Reflections Gallery: A virtual gallery is available on following the awards ceremony. We hope you will share with family and friends to continue celebrating student’s success!


  • Merit Award: Bronze Medal; Certificate of Merit; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
  • Award of Excellence: $200 Young Artist Scholarship; Silver Medal; Certificate of Excellence; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
  • Outstanding Interpretation Award: $800 Young Artist Scholarship; Gold Medal; Certificate of Outstanding Interpretation; Work featured in the virtual exhibition; $200 Prize for Local PTA Unit



Step 1: Identify a chairperson for your Local PTA Reflections Arts contest and start planning how you will collect entries and celebrate students using the Local Leader Toolkit and resources linked below.

Step 2: Reflections chairperson will want to enroll the PTA in the Reflections program. 

Step 3: Recruit people to be on your Reflections Committee. This is not a one-person task. Ask the art music, English teachers, or otters to be part of the committee. Ask fellow PTA members or community partners.

Step 4: Reflection Committee Members become familiar with the Reflections Guidelines and rules for the 2023-2024 school year. 

Step 5: Recruit people to be judges. 

Promote Your Program (September/October)

Advertise your age divisions and categories. (For example, elementary schools who serve students Pre-K through 5th Grade would have two age divisions, Primary and Intermediate) Your PTA can choose which categories you would like to take submissions for. If you are just starting out, maybe only accept submissions for a category or two. You can always expand your program the following year!

Distribute the Reflections Rules and Student Entry Forms

  • Each Student must have a completed student entry form
  • It is important that the student and their parent/guardian sign the form
  • They must also have an Artist Statement describing the artwork and how it relates to the theme (10-100 words)

Promote! Be sure your Reflections program is well promoted! Suggestions of promoting the program include: Flyers, newsletters, social media, school announcements, etc. 

Judging! (November/December)

Collect submissions for each age/category

Your judges you established will judge each category and age individually. 

Two entries per each category and age division will be forwarded on to NCPTA for the regional reflections competition.
*information for forwarding on entries can be found on our Reflections Submissions Instructions Page*

Celebrate! (December-June)

Assign and present awards by category and division

Celebrate and Acknowledge the students!

2023-2024 Reflections Due Dates for North Carolina

  • August 15:   Lifeline for Leaders Reflections Presentation
  • Sept: School PTA advertise their Reflections program
  • Oct:  Students submit entries to local school PTA based on deadline set by school PTA
  • Nov 15th: School PTA’s first place winners are due to Council PTAs for judging for Council competition
  • Nov 15th: If your county does not have a Council, your School PTA’s first place winners are due to NCPTA
  • Dec 15th: Council’s first place winners are due to NCPTA 
  • Early Spring: NCPTA winners announced
  • Apr 20th: Reflections Celebration
  • May 2024: National PTA Winners announced

Resources & Tools for your Reflections Contest

Check Out Previous Years Winners!

2022-23 NCPTA State Reflections Winners

View the full listing of State Winners HERE.

View the Winners Entries Here!



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