Awards reflect creative talentPublished 9:09pm Saturday, March 9, 2013
State-level awards for two Suffolk public school students in a National Parent-Teacher Association arts program were announced during a ceremony at King’s Fork Middle Monday.
The Reflections contest state Award of Merit has been earned by Whitney Defreditas in the music category and Lauren Cox for film production. Both students attend Northern Shores Elementary.
Monday’s city- and district-level awards night provided a little bit of glamour for artistically inclined students, Creekside PTA President Leila Baccouche-Nadeau said.
“It make them feel special, and they get so excited receiving the awards — you can just see it in their faces,” she said.
Of the 70 entries to place first at the local-unit level in Suffolk, 24 placed at the district level, incorporating the Suffolk, Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry and Sussex school districts.
Reflections categories include dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.
For the first time this year, a Special Artists Division was available for students with physical, cognitive or mental health challenges.
“For me, it is encouraging the students to be creative by rewarding them for their creativity in the arts,” Baccouche-Nadeau said.
“It’s a wonderful program, and I hope it just gets better and better each year. They are wanting to be creative, to do something other than their regular curriculum. It gives them the chance to broaden their horizons and be creative, and it helps them in their regular school work.”
Reflections has existed since 1969, when it was developed by the then-president of Colorado’s PTA.
“Since then, the Reflections program has inspired millions of students to reflect on a specific theme and create original artwork,” according to the National PTA website.
Virginia PTA President Anne Carsons will invite Suffolk’s Whitney and Lauren to be presented with their state-level awards at the organization’s annual conference in Richmond in July, Baccouche-Nadeau said.