ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 29, 2016)-National PTA® and Guitar Center have teamed up to bring resources to families, schools and PTAs across the country to inspire students' creativity through the National PTA Reflections arts in education program.
"Participation in the arts enables students to explore their talents and express themselves while building their confidence and sense of accomplishment. Involvement in the arts is also closely associated with students' social and emotional development and civic engagement," said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. "National PTA is thrilled to team up with Guitar Center to provide more students the opportunity to experience the joy and important benefits that come from participating in the arts."
As part of the collaboration, Guitar Center will donate musical instruments to a number of local PTAs across the country to support their arts education efforts, inspire students to participate in the National PTA Reflections program and spark students' interest to create music. Local PTAs will also have the opportunity to tap into a wide range of support from Guitar Center locations in their areas, such as having Guitar Center instructors serve as judges for their Reflections programs. With studios in nearly 100 stores, Guitar Center Lessons provides a world-class music education in many genres for musicians of all ages and skill levels.
"Learning to play music can be an amazing, life-changing experience that can help improve a student's self-confidence, but also boost their academic performance over time," said Krista Shue, national director of Guitar Center's Lessons program. "We're excited about the opportunity to collaborate with National PTA to introduce more children to learning music and fostering the skills necessary to think creatively."
National PTA Reflections is a recognition program through which students are encouraged to explore their creativity and be involved in the arts-in the classroom and at home. National PTA and PTAs nationwide urge students from preschool through grade 12 to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice-dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography or visual arts-that reflect on an annual theme. The 2016-2017 National PTA Reflections theme is "What Is Your Story?"
Submissions are reviewed by visual, literary and performing art experts, and students are recognized each year at the local, state and national levels for their artistic ingenuity in bringing the theme to life. Guitar Center will make it possible for a National PTA Reflections award recipient to travel to the nation's capital in January to participate in a special ceremony at the U.S. Department of Education.
"The National PTA Reflections program has inspired millions of students to explore their talents and be involved in the arts for nearly 50 years," added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. "National PTA and Guitar Center share a commitment to ensuring all students have the opportunity to experience the arts, as it is essential to helping them reach their full potential and preparing them for long-term success."