Can I submit more than one project?
Absolutely! Students may submit as many projects as they like, in as many arts categories as they like.

Can I submit a project with a partner or team?
No. Each entry must be the original work of one student only. An adult may not alter the creative integrity of a student's work. Because the program is designed to encourage and recognize each student's individual creativity, help from an adult or collaboration with other students is not allowed except in the Special Artist Division. Other individuals may appear in or perform a student's work, but the work itself must be the creative product of one student only. Only one student may be recognized as the award recipient for each entry. See specific arts category rules and special artist division rules for details.

Can my parents help with my project?
No. See answer to question above.

Do I have to write an "artist's statement"?
Yes. This is required for each entry. Qualifying entries must include a project title and artist statement. The artist statement communicates what inspired the work, how it relates to the theme, and the content of the work. The statement must include at least 10 words and not exceed 100 words.

What is the judging criteria for projects advancing to the next level?
1) Interpretation - How closely the piece relates to the theme, based on the artwork itself and the artist statement. (The artist statement -- which is part of the Entry Form -- is very important!)
2) Creativity - How creative and original the piece is in its conception of the theme and its presentation.
3) Technique - The level of skill demonstrated in the basic principles / techniques of the arts area.


The Reflections Program was established in 1969 by the National PTA. Since that time, more than 10 million students have participated in this annual program.

The PTA Reflections Program is an arts recognition and achievement program for students. A theme is given and students can submit work in one of the categories.  Participation and appreciation for the arts is the Reflections Program's goal. Although the Reflections Program follows a "contest" format, winning is not the emphasis.

State of Illinois Reflections Website



A big congratulations is in order for Hawthorne student Shea Coleman who received an Award of Merit at the National level for her Reflections entry "Dream Matters" in the category of Film Production. What an amazing accomplishment!


Let's congratulate ALL D205 students who participated in the state level and advanced to Nationals!

One middle schooler was recognized:  

  • Delilah Kamins, State Honorable Mention: Churchville MS, middle school division, Visual Arts - "A Spark In The Dark"

Sandburg also has three students from our elementary feeders, Field and Hawthorne, to congratulate:

  • Shea Coleman, Advanced to the National Level: Hawthorne, primary division, Film Production - "Dream Matters"
  • Evan Seiler, Advanced to the National Level: Field, primary division, Literature - "I Am"
  • Rowan Hoppe, Honorable Mention: Hawthorne, intermediate division, Literature - "Life of A Tree"

Click here to view full list of those who have advanced.


Congrats to our students that have advanced to the state level!


Sandburg had nine students participating in the 2020-21 Illinois Reflections “I Matter Because” Program this year with four advancing on to the State Level! Click here for further details. WAY TO GO SPARTANS! Thank you to Michelle Wehrle and the PTA Reflections Committee chairs for all of their hard work in coordinating and orchestrating this year's program. Click here for a full list of students in the district who advanced to DuPage East Region. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!


I Matter Because

NOTE: Reflections entries were due Tuesday, November 24. Entries are now closed.

The Reflections program is here again for the 2020-2021 school year. The National PTA Reflections program is PTA's cornerstone art program, offering students an opportunity to explore their artistic creativity and earn recognition for the artwork they create. 

The theme this year is: I Matter Because... Reflections project categories include: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts. No experience is required to participate and all grade levels are welcome. Just have fun and express yourself - draw, paint, make a collage, write something, take a photo, compose a song, choreograph a dance, produce a movie. All students who participate will be recognized!

Completed projects are due on Tuesday, November 24th. All rules and regulations for each category, downloadable entry forms, and submission details can be found below.

If you have any other questions please contact Patti Berner.  


Click here to read the overall rules. Then, specific rules for each category are linked below.  Please carefully read the rules for specific categories. Failure to submit a proper entry form or follow specific arts category rules could disqualify a project.


Entries are due November 24 and will be submitted electronically by following the directions below.

Naming files - please name digital file in this format: <STUDENT LAST NAME><Student First Name>.<School Name>.<category abbreviation> 

Category abbreviations:
Visual Arts = VA
Literature = Lit
Photography = Photo
Music Composition = Music
Film Production = Film
Dance Choreography= dance.


Directions for entering:

1. READ category rules (linked above in rules section) Please note these additions:

  • Photography and Visual Arts - matting is not necessary (as we are all virtual this year)  
  • Literature - word count is on the student form
  • Literature - no labeling of the back pages necessary 

2. Complete Entry Form (Fillable PDF, typed signatures are accepted; when completed, save a copy to your computer) 
Each project submission must include an official entry form. Feel free to attach an extra sheet if more room is needed for the Artist Statement, etc. 

3. Electronically Submit your Entry Form and Artwork (Google Form)
NOTE:  you will need to access this google form from a google login that is NOT a D205 google login used by your child for school.  The permissions on the google form won’t work with the locked down D205 google logins provided by our school.