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National PTA Awards Schools and Local PTAs With Grant for Arts Education Programs

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Heidi May Wilson, Media Relations Manager

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (June 18, 2015) — As part of its longstanding commitment to quality arts education, National PTA is pleased to award three schools and local PTAs from across the country with its 2015 Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant. The grant is designed to empower schools and PTAs with resources to establish or enhance arts programs in the areas of visual arts, photography, music, dance, literature and theater.

The 2015 Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant recipients are:

Barringer Elementary School PTA (Charlotte, N.C.)
Barringer Elementary School PTA will implement a school-wide, multi-disciplinary project to install a clay wall created by students. Barringer Elementary School PTA will partner with Clayworks, a local organization, to provide seminars for the school’s art teacher and fourth and fifth grade students who will help instruct younger students. Students also will have the opportunity to work via Skype with artist Jun Kaneko, who creates ceramic murals and free-standing sculptures. Once installed, a community-wide reception will be held to showcase the clay wall and students’ work.

Eastwood Elementary School PTA (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Eastwood Elementary School PTA will continue to expand its Art Start program through which parent volunteers teach students about artists and art techniques on a monthly basis throughout the school year. The volunteers also conduct afterschool workshops for students. Community partners offer additional incentives and rewards to participants.

Ludlam Elementary School (South Miami, Fla.)
Ludlam Elementary School will use the grant to launch a “Trash to Treasure: Art Sustains Us” program through which students will refashion seemingly useless materials into art projects. The program will feature recycling drives to collect materials as well as field trips to locations in the community. Students also will have the opportunity to participate in workshops that will incorporate visual arts, music, dance and literature to address the issue of sustainability. The workshops will be led by community partners, drama and arts clubs from local high schools, and arts and music department representatives from area universities. 

“Research shows that involvement in the arts is closely associated with students’ academic achievement, social and emotional development, and civic engagement. As schools are asked to do more with less every year, it is critical that the arts remain a priority,” said Otha Thornton, president of National PTA. “National PTA has long supported the arts, recognizing the impact they have on student success, in the classroom and beyond. The association is pleased to empower schools and local PTAs with resources to ensure all children have access to arts programs and classes.”

The goal of the Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant is to provide sustainable arts education learning opportunities with a focus on serving at-risk students. The grant is a component of National PTA’s Reflections® arts in education program, which has inspired and engaged millions of students in the arts for more than 40 years.

Barringer Elementary School PTA, Eastwood Elementary School PTA and Ludlam Elementary School will be recognized during the 2015 National PTA Convention & Expo, which will be held June 25-28 in Charlotte, N.C. For more information about the Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant and the Reflections program, visit

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement 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.