South Orangetown Central School District

Congratulations to Cottage Lane Elementary School student Clara Ryan, who earned the NYS PTA Reflections Award of Excellence for her original music composition entitled, “A Dream.” The Award of Excellence honor carries a Young Artist Scholarship, Silver Medal, Certificate of Excellence and work featured in the traveling National PTA Reflections exhibition.

This year’s theme, “I Matter Because,” invited students in PreK through Grade 12 to express themselves through dance choreography, film production, literature, music competition, photography and visual arts. SOCES PTA recently recognized all elementary school participants for their entries into the 2020-21 National PTA Reflections Awards. (Some, but not all, pictured.)

“The students who participated in Reflections and interpreted the theme each reminded us that their hearts and minds have an impact on our world, especially in the face of turmoil and struggle,” explained SOCES PTA Reflections chair Rachel Witmer. “2020 will forever be known as the year that turned our world upside down. Individually, it was easy to feel very small as we stopped seeing friends, family, classmates and colleagues. It was beautiful to see each artistic creation leave a little footprint on the world.”

Each year, works of art are submitted for recognition at the school level. Winners advance for regional, state and national judging. “Participating in the arts helps students express their thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions, which is especially important to support children’s well-being during this time in our country,” National PTA President Leslie Boggs said.

The 2021-2022 Reflections theme is “I Will Change the World By…” Entry information will be shared this fall.

Collage of elementary students holding up their awards certificates