The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


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PTA Reflections ‘23 “I am Hopeful Because…”
National PTA Reflections Art Contest Flyer 2023-2024. Photo courtesy of

Founded back in 1969, the PTA Reflections Art Program is a nationwide arts competition Approximately 300,000 students– across all age levels ranging from Pre-K all the way to 12th grade– are expected to participate this year. Every contestant must create an original art piece, responding to the student-selected theme of the year. This year the theme is: “I am Hopeful Because…”, submitted by Alice Meko from Hampton Cove Elementary School in Alabama. Students can submit their work in the following six arts categories: Film Production, Music Composition, Visual Arts, Dance Choreography, Literature, and Photography. The deadline for submissions is October 13, 2023. 

Originality and inspiration are common struggles among the participants, as many students find that the most difficult part about creating art is coming up with an outstanding idea that is unique and not something that’s already been done before. Reese Thomas is a ninth grade student at CdM who participated in the PTA Reflections competition last year and won the Award of Excellence. When asked about her experience, Thomas explained that the creative process for her was, “pretty easy… I didn’t struggle with much,” but she did note that for her, the hardest part was thinking of a design. 

The PTA Reflections contest is publicized through flyers and signs that are posted throughout the CdM campus, as well as PTA announcements and @cdmpta on Instagram. In addition, CdM art teachers are encouraging their students to enter their artwork. Mrs.Valdes, CdM’s Arts Department Chair, is an enthusiastic supporter of the contest and explains that, “I encourage my students to participate because the program develops prompts that inspire meaningful reflections, hence the title of the program.” Mrs. Valdes also finds that through participating in the PTA Reflections program, her students have the rare opportunity to take their time, calm down and think. Mrs. Valdes notes that the contest helps prompt students to stop and think about meaningful ideas that impact their lives, and she feels that, “it’s important for them to participate in these kinds of activities to help them recalibrate themselves and the trajectories of their lives.” 

This year’s theme, “I am Hopeful Because…” can connect with many people on different levels, because the desire to find ways to remain hopeful is easily relatable. Valdes feels that this year’s theme is refreshingly inspirational because it addresses one of the functions of art, “it’s important to engage with art that inspires hope and keeps people hopeful to remind them of the good things in life.” Participating in the PTA Reflections art contest is an opportunity for students to share their artistic voice and express themselves and their thoughts. At CdM there will be winners chosen for the various categories and a celebration at the end of October.  Student winners have the opportunity to advance to the state level contest and some can even further advance to compete at the national level.

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