Standley Middle School seventh grade student Henry J. was recognized with an Award of Excellence by the Ninth District PTA for his artwork in this year’s PTA Reflections Art Program. In his film, Henry performs background music on the cello and piano as he depicts the story of injured wildlife.

Students from eight schools throughout San Diego Unified School District submitted artwork this year for the Reflections program, the largest and oldest arts education program of its kind. More than 300,000 pre-K through grade 12 students nationwide create original works of art in response to a student-selected theme each year. This year’s theme was “I Matter Because…,” and the district’s students produced an array of introspective, imaginative, and thoughtful pieces in the visual arts, dance choreography, film production, literature, and music composition categories.

“The Reflections competition provided a great way to release my creative energy during the pandemic,” said Henry. “These competitions are good for students because they get you to experiment and think creatively. No matter how busy I am in the future, I know there is always time for creativity.”

Henry’s artwork and others from around the county will compete at the California State PTA competition this spring. From there, winning pieces will advance to the National PTA level. Despite an all-virtual Reflections program this year, SDUSD students are aiming high and looking forward to making a mark at the state and national levels.