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Midvale Journal

Copperview Elementary student’s story wins Reflections award

Aug 29, 2017 09:46AM ● By Jana Klopsch

Copperview Elementary fifth-grader Tuesday Harris’s literature entry won the school, regional and state titles for intermediate level in the PTA Reflections contest as well as the national award of merit. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama   |  [email protected]

For a couple days this past school year, Copperview Elementary fifth-grader Tuesday Harris wrote, rewrote and edited an essay on what career options she wanted to pursue. It was for the “What is your story?” theme of the Parent-Teacher Association’s Reflections program.

Those few days of writing, What Do I Wanna Be?, not only gave Tuesday the school, regional and state titles for intermediate level in literature, but also the award of merit nationally.

“It was my first year doing literature and I felt good about what I wrote,” Tuesday said. “I was able to put out there what I’m thinking and get noticed. I feel like I was doing just what the PTA says, ‘every child, one voice.’”

At each level, Tuesday said she has received medals for her entry. 

Tuesday likes to write fictional short stories and graphic novels in her spare time, often collaborating.

“It’s fun to create a world I like through stories and share it with others. I improve my writing and at the same time, I can show others my inspiration,” she said.

She also is illustrating her graphic novel. Her artistic abilities have been recognized regionally when she entered the Reflections visual arts category.

Returning to the visual arts category has crossed her mind as she is thinking about the 2017-18 Reflections theme, “Within Reach.”

“I may do a 3-D or 2-D entry in the visual arts category this year. It’s fun to make stuff and show what I can do,” she said.

The National PTA Reflections awards has celebrated more than 45 years of student achievement in the arts including dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual art. There also is a special artist division.

Utah PTA has sponsored the Reflections program for more than 40 years.

The Reflections arts program started in 1969 by then Colorado State PTA President Mary Lou Anderson. Since then, Reflections has become an international program as PTAs in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and overseas U.S. military schools have joined the 50 states to participate in this program.

Each year, a theme search contest is held where students can submit ideas for upcoming years. Once the National PTA Reflections Committee announces the year’s theme, PTA volunteers coordinate the contest.

With the Reflections contest, a judging process is used that assists in narrowing down the number of entries as artwork passes through different levels of PTA. In Utah, there are typically between 10,000 and 13,000 entries submitted each year. Nationally, about 300,000 entries are submitted.

Students typically receive two types of awards—the award of excellence and the award of merit. The award of excellence is given to the entries that are judged to be the best in their category. These entries then move on to the next level of judging. The award of merit recipients are the runners-up and are recognized at the school, council and region level. If they receive an award of excellence at the state level, they are then advanced to national PTA for the final round of judging.