Lincoln Elementary School fourth grader, McKenna Schneider, was recently honored with an Award of Merit in the 2015-2016 National PTA Reflections arts in education program. McKenna’s poem titled, “The West,” was recognized with an Award of Merit for her division at the National Level. McKenna was also honored with an Award of Excellence in the Literature category at the New York State level. The awards honor imagination, creativity and interpretation of the theme “Let Your Imagination Fly.” McKenna’s poem was chosen from over 300,000 students in over 8,000 schools across the country and in U.S. schools overseas.
“We are so proud of McKenna and her national honor. McKenna is the first student to be recognized as a NYS PTA Award of Excellence winner from Jamestown Schools in at least 10 years. This year she entered both a literature and a visual arts entry,” said Ericka Zielinski from the Jamestown City Council PTA. “Jamestown has just resurrected the Reflections program over the last four years, I see the Reflections Program as an opportunity to celebrate and honor the artist in every student. I believe inside every child is an artist of some kind, and with a little encouragement these artists can shine. This program encourages creativity – it’s an opportunity to celebrate those students who might not normally be recognized. Over the last four years I have come to believe that this is the perfect outlet for those students who do not excel academically or athletically to receive recognition for their talent, the students who may be overlooked for various reasons usually have a secret talent or artistic ability that comes to light with this program.”
The National PTA Reflections program encourages students of all ages and abilities to explore and be involved in the arts. Through the program, National PTA, Jamestown City Council PTA and PTAs across the country urge students in preschool through grade 12 to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice— dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts — reflecting on a specific theme. There also is a special artist division option for students with disabilities to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in the program. Students are recognized each year for their artistic ingenuity to bring the theme to life in a way that is personal and meaningful. The program does not require any additional work for the school, the PTA, teachers or parents – just encourage these students to do what they do best – draw, paint, dance, write, create a video, take a picture then allow us to celebrate their hard work
Founded in 1969, the National PTA Reflections engages nearly 300,000 students and their families in arts education activities each year—encouraging students to explore the arts for fun and recognition. For more information about the program, visit PTA.org/Reflections.
PTA® comprises of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement 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.