The 2021 Reflections theme is "I Matter"

about this year's theme

Above video: Anna King, National Parent Teacher Association President-Elect, talks about the latest theme for PTA Reflections and how it was selected and can inspire young artist today.

PTA's Reflections program provides opportunities for recognition and access to the arts for all students. Each year, over 300,000 students in pre-K through grade 12 create original works of art in response to a student-selected theme. This 50+ year-old program helps them explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas; develop artistic literacy; increase confidence and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful in school and in life.

The Reflections theme is selected two years in advance through a nationwide theme search contest. The I Matter Because… theme was selected in 2018 by an elementary school student, Rylee Stier, from Burney, California. Rylee, a then 1st grader, drew inspiration from her town and the towns around her being completely wiped out by the California wildfires of 2018. The selection of her theme brought hope and pride back to her community.


Entry Forms and Rules

Students should download the Program Rules to ensure their art meets the requirements for each art category. Each entry must be accompanied by a completed Student Entry form.

Student Program Rules English | Spanish
Student Entry Form   English | Spanish


Deadline for submissions varies from school to school. Ask your school Reflections chairperson for YOUR deadline. 

Category Rules Individually 

The Student Program Rules and Student Entry Form can be found on the Eligibility & Participation page in both English and Spanish. If you wish to download the category rules individually, they are linked below:


General Rules English | Spanish
Dance Choreography  English | Spanish
Film Production  English | Spanish
Literature  English | Spanish
Music Composition  English | Spanish
Photography  English | Spanish
Visual Arts  English | Spanish
Special Artist Rules  English | Spanish
Single Page Rules English | Spanish



COVID-19 suggestions

  • Local and Council levels are welcome to collect entries digitally and then only send Texas PTA physical entries. Texas PTA would still like to receive the physical entry, but that way you only worry about the advancing entries – 30 or less.
  • Ideas for collecting digitally:
    • Accept entries and forms via email (up to a certain file size).
    • Ask students to share entries and forms through Google Drive or Dropbox.
    • Use Flipgrid to collect videos from the students. It’s free for educators!
    • Ask one of your teachers to assist.

Ideas for Virtual Advertising

  • TikTok video promos
  • Host a Zoom art night and invite secondary level students to lead draw-alongs for younger students.
  • "Challenges" are all the rage with elementary students!
  • Showcase student entries in an online art gallery.
  • Host a Zoom award ceremony for student recognition and include a slideshow or pre-recorded interviews with advancing students as well as teachers.

Important dates for local ptas

*Each school sets its own deadline allowing suficient time for judging before the Council deadline below.*

Monday, November 16, 2020: Spreadsheet with the top 20% of entries from your school must be emailed to Council Reflections chair.

1st week of December, 2020: Drop off advancing entries (top 20%) for Council level judging event that evening. PLEASE HELP COUNCIL FIND VOLUNTEERS AND JUDGES FOR THIS EVENT. 


Reflections Judging in Seven Easy Steps From Texas PTA


Step One: Identify and recruit Volunteers and judges to help you with your Reflections program. Remember that it's best to have judges who are not closely affiliated with your campus.

Step Two: Verify eligibility of all entries received, including National PTA arts category rules and Texas PTA membership requirements. It's important to be proactive in working with families to resolve any eligibility concerns prior to judging.  

Step Three: Host your Reflections judging. Guidelines and suggested Scorecards are available for download. Council PTAs and Regional Coordinators should follow these judging Guidelines.

Step Four: Download and complete the Advancing Entry Spreadsheet.

Step Five:  Following judging, complete the appropriate participation summary for your judging level.
School PTAs: Local PTA Participation Summary 
District PTAs advancing to state-level: Council PTA Results Summary (Available in December)

Step Six:  Advance entries to next round of judging by the published deadline.

Step Seven: Celebrate your students and Volunteers! Themed ribbons and certificates may be purchased through Texas PTA's online market (Available in October). Download a Certificate Template (Available in October) for easier printing!


Resources for Local Reflections chairs 

2021 National PTA General Reflections Flyer (.pdf) (en español) (English)

2021 National PTA Reflections Call for Entries Video

Full Color logo: English PNG | Spanish PNG
Black & White logo: English PNG | Spanish PNG

Themed Poster 11×17 
English (DOC) | Spanish (DOC)
English (JPG) | Spanish (JPG)

Themed Flier 8 1/2 x 11 
English (DOC) | Spanish (DOC)
English (JPG) | Spanish (JPG)

Get the word out!
media advisory template 
Reflections press release template

Local PTA Leader's Checklist from Texas PTA

The Local Leader's Guide (Spanish) from National PTA provides an overview of the steps necessary to host a program at your school. You'll also find helpful tools to recruit and train volunteers as well as plan educational activities and family celebrations.

Take National PTA's 2020 E-Learning Course (2021 version to come) on how to plan, promote and celebrate your Reflections program.

Check out this 2020 PowerPoint (2021 version to come) that you can also use to train co-chairs and school leaders.

See the National PTA Reflections page and Texas PTA Reflections page for more local leader information.