By Melissa Cancro, Programs Coordinator

In Arts, Reflections is the headline for this time of year.

We can’t wait to see what the students around the state have created! This year’s theme was Heroes Around Me. We are excited to see who the students picked as their heroes and how they artistically interpreted this theme.

Regions flooded the NYS PTA state office with boxes full of student Reflections entries. These submissions have to be checked and prepared for the state judges.

It is a quick turnaround, because National PTA needs to receive all state winners’ artwork by March 1 for their judging.

Around May 1, National PTA will let us know which of our state winners received a National PTA Award of Excellence or Award of Merit.

The Jenkins Memorial Scholarship for Teacher Education is a $3,000 award given over 4 years to a senior attending a SUNY college for a baccalaureate degree in education -OR- attending a 2-year SUNY community college before transferring to a baccalaureate degree program in education at a 4-year SUNY college.

Ninety-eight students applied for the Jenkins Scholarship this year. These students are all passionate about teaching. Many are already volunteering or interning in their chosen field. Best of luck to all our Jenkins applicants!

More awards with upcoming deadlines:

If you haven’t planned a Pick a Reading Partner [or PARP] program at your school or library, it is not too late. In fact, March is a great time to hold a PARP program.

March is National Reading Month so it is a natural fit. If you need any help or ideas, check out our PARP Toolkit.

If you have run a PARP Program, please consider applying for the PARP Award. The application is listed HERE.

The Literacy Committee, which selects the state-wide award winner, is looking for creativity, innovative ideas, and wise use of your program budget.

Many units do not submit their programs because they are afraid their program doesn’t have enough bells and whistles.

A great program engages children and their families and doesn’t need a big budget!

Click HERE for more information about the PARP Award. Applications are due June 15.