Northern Virginia Awards Gala!

2015 NoVa Reflections Awards artwork 30%The Northern Virginia PTA District Student Awards Program is next week!

Join us at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology at 7 pm on Friday, April 20. We’ll honor all students who participated in the NoVa District Reflections contest, as well as the winners of the Scholarship Contest, the Citizenship Essay Competition, and the Power Plates Contest.

Thomas Jefferson HS is in Fairfax County at 6560 Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22312.

The event is free and open to the public, but we ask that our student honorees and their families RSVP, so we know who to expect. Here is a link to the event information and online registration:


More Chances To Shine

Celebration, Not War

“Celebration, Not War,” by Jonathan P., GWMS

We love the PTA Reflections contest, but it’s not the only show in town.

From time to time, we here at Reflections Alexandria hear about other opportunities for student recognition in the arts. We’ll start keeping track of them on this page, with links below.

(Because we’re not always notified of new contests, we plan to leave the old links up on this page, so you can check for updates yourself.)

Writing Contest for K-3 Students!

Kids Writing Contest

Would your students like another creative writing opportunity in between Reflections contests?

One of our local PBS television stations, WETA Kids, urges children in grades K-3 throughout the Washington area to write an original story, poem or piece of non-fiction using the following prompt:

“I walked out into my neighborhood and…”

Students will have the opportunity to win prizes! Spread the word. The local class, after-school or child care center that submits the most entries to WETA Kids will win children’s books and a visit from a famous PBS character!

The deadline is April 18. For complete rules, see


This Website Is A Winner!

1st-place-rosetteThis time, it’s the Alexandria PTA Reflections Contest that’s the winner! This website, ReflectionsAlexandria, has won 1st Place in a statewide communications contest. Yay, us!

Results are in for the 2018 contest of the Virginia Professional Communicators, and ReflectionsAlexandria has been chosen as the top winner in the category for nonprofit or educational websites! As a 1st Place winner, the entry has been advanced to the national contest of the National Federation of Press Women.

The state awards ceremony is May 5 in Richmond.

Va Professional Communicators logo

George Mason 4th Grader Advances to National Contest!

Photo IconAdelaide Flint, a George Mason Elementary School 4th-grader, has won 1st Place in the Virginia state contest and now moves on to the national competition.

Adelaide’s entry in Intermediate Photography, “Stronger,” is a photograph of herself looking in the mirror. “It is about Me looking at my future and hoping that it is without cancer and struggles,” she wrote in her artist’s statement. “This is me, strong, caring. Brave and artistic.” Adelaide says her favorite part of the photo is the teddy bear she is holding.

Adelaide is the only Alexandria student to win a state award this year. At the state and national level, the 1st Place award is called the Award for Outstanding Interpretation of Theme. Her photograph is currently being judged with other National entries, with results expected May 1.

Congratulations to Adelaide!


Stronger, by A. Flint, George Mason ES

NVCC Applauds Reflections Winners


NoVa Community College will spotlight Alexandria City Reflections winners this Thursday, March 1, at the annual NoVa Children’s Concert.

Children's Concert Flyer 2018The concert, which begins at 7:30, is aimed at families with children and is free. It includes performances by Alexandria students, including groups from GW Middle School and George Mason Elementary.

The NoVa Alexandria Band will play, as well, with a repertoire chosen for kid-friendliness.

At some point between acts, the Alexandria Reflections winners will be called up onstage for a round of applause. (This is not our official awards presentation; that will take place on March 16, when students will receive their Reflections medals and ribbons.)

You don’t have to register or RSVP to come to the concert. Just show up, and bring the whole family! The concert is always a lot of fun.

Students who won any Alexandria City Reflections awards (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place, as well as Honorable Mentions and Director’s Awards) will be honored. If your child is very young or particularly shy, you might want to practice, so he or she will be ready. Students will be asked to say the following:

  • Name
  • School
  • Reflections Arts Category (Dance, Literature, Photography, etc.)

The concert is at Schlesinger Hall, 4915 East Campus Drive. Come in the campus’s Beauregard Drive entrance, and drive up the hill. The concert hall is on your right and the parking garage is on your left. Ignore signs about paying for parking. Parking is free the night of the concert!

If you can’t read the flyer above, you can download a PDF here. And feel free to post it at school, or put it on your PTA listserve. Spread the word!

Mt Vernon Student Artists Shine!

Blue Corn Flower

Blue Corn Flower, by Sophia Z., 4th grade, Mt Vernon Community School (Photography, Intermediate)

Mount Vernon Community School, which usually has the largest Reflections contest in the city, held its awards program this week at the Casa Chirilagua, a great example of a partnership with a community group. Part of the program was this terrific video of some of the work entered in the contest by the creative and talented students of MVCS.

If you’re a Reflections chair looking for a way to show off your student entries, you might find the video presentation inspirational.

Click here to link to the video.

Congratulations to Lee Raynes, Laurie Rossbach, and Clese Erikson, who worked so hard to put on a great Reflections program, and to all of Mount Vernon’s Reflections participants.


New Opportunity for Teen Writers

Literature IconIf you’re a teen who likes to write — or a teacher or Reflections chair at a school with talented teenaged writers — you should know about this new short-story contest for teens, the Amy Wahl Short Story Prize, with divisions for age 13-15 and for age 16-19. The contest is administered by Double Dessert Press.

Stories should be between 1,000 and 5,000 words.

Find more information here:

Double Dessert Press

ACPS Students Move On to the State

Two ACPS student entries have won 1st Place in the Northern Virginia PTA District Reflections competition and are moving on to the Virginia state contest:

  • Adelaide Flint, 4th grade, George Mason ES – “Stronger” (Photography, Intermediate)
  • Peyton Marcy, 7th grade, George Washington MS – “Something Just Like This” (Dance Choreography, Middle School)

Click here to see the complete list of NoVa District Winners for 2017-18.

We are proud of all of our winners, and especially excited for Adelaide and Peyton! Take a look at the work of these two talented students….


Stronger, by A. Flint, George Mason ES


We’re in the Gazette-Packet!

I’m sitting here at the Snackbar on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray, and a courier just walked in and slapped onto the counter a stack of the hot-off-the-presses Alexandria Gazette-Packet. And there, on page 22, is an entire page on our ACPS Reflections winners!

Eight student artworks are reproduced on the page. Unfortunately, the entire winners’ list was not included. But we’re happy for whatever publicity we can get for our talented students. Share the news!

Alex Reflections Winners, in Gazette-Packet 22 jpg


See the online version here:


-Catherine Petrini

Reflections Chair for Alexandria and Northern Virginia