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Westside Elementary PTA participates in National Arts Program

Westside students participating in the PTA Reflections program include: left to right, Carter Sickels, Olivia Hettinger, Colleen Urlaub, Derek Johs, John Johnson, and Kylie Sickels.

Students at Westside Elementary participated in PTA Reflections, a national arts recognition program. Through the Westside PTA, 24 creative works were submitted inspired by the 2010-2011 Reflections Program theme, "Together We Can." Works included entries in the areas of dance choreography, literature, musical composition, photography, and the visual arts.

Judges from around the FM area reviewed the submissions and selected winners in each category. Seven students in grades 1-5 were selected winners and will move on to the state level. The included: Primary Division: John Johnson, Musical Composition, Kylie Sickels, Dance/Choreography and Literature, Olivia Hettinger, Visual Arts, and Carter Sickels, Photography; Intermediate Division: Derek Johs, Visual Arts and Colleen Urlaub, Photography.

"This is the first year Westside has participated in the Reflections Program. I am delighted that students have the opportunity to express themselves through the arts in addition to the quality art program students are receiving during the school day," said Beth Slette, Westside Principal.

"An arts education is important to the educational growth of children," said National PTA President Charles J. "Chuck" Saylors. "That's why we're proud that PTA Reflections, in its more than 40 years, has given millions of students a way to express themselves through the arts. We're excited for Westside PTA and the creative energy of their students."

Students' works will be highlighted in the display case this spring at Westside Elementary. Works will also be featured online at

For over 40 years, the national PTA Reflections Program has encouraged students across the nation and in American schools overseas to explore their artistic talents. PTA believes that all children deserve a quality arts education and encourages students to pursue artistic expression through participation in the annual Reflections Program. Students in preschool through grade 12 are invited to create and submit works of art in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography, and the visual arts.

The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement 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.