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Picture This: Finally a Big Sister, Rochester Second Grader Wins National Prize

A second grader at Musson Elementary School student was honored in the National PTA Reflections program, which encourages students to explore their artistic abilities.

At Reflections District Award Ceremony March 26, 2014, Hannah Barrett holding her little sister, Hope. Also pictured are Adele Hijazin, Musson Elementary PTA Reflections chairperson, left, and Victoria Righter, Musson Elementary principal, right (Pho
At Reflections District Award Ceremony March 26, 2014, Hannah Barrett holding her little sister, Hope. Also pictured are Adele Hijazin, Musson Elementary PTA Reflections chairperson, left, and Victoria Righter, Musson Elementary principal, right (Pho

Hannah Barrett, a second grader at Musson Elementary School, is the first student in the school's 25-year history to move on to the national level for the National PTA Reflections program.

The Reflections program is America’s oldest and largest arts education program of its kind. It encourages students of all abilities in pre-K through grade 12 to explore and be involved in the arts.

Annually, thousands of students reflect on a common theme and create original works of art in the categories of dance choreography, film production, music composition, literature, photography and visual arts.

The 2013-2014 Reflections theme was "Believe, Dream, Inspire." Hannah submitted a photography entry entitled "I'm Finally Going to be a Big Sister!" For the required artist statement, Hannah stated:

"I've waited so long to be a big sister and it will finally happen in February!"

Hannah took the photo using her mom's Sony Cyber-shot camera on Nov. 10, 2013 just after her mom was taking a picture of Hannah's illustration entry. She and her mom, Shara Barrett, were sitting and chatting about the baby as her mom rubbed her belly after she felt a little kick.

Hannah touched the pregnant belly and then decided to grab the camera and snap a picture because of the image she saw that she was making with her hand and her mom's hands. When her mom, Shara Barrett, saw the photo she said "Hannah, that is so good. You should enter that in the photography category!" And, she did.

For the required explanation of how the submission relates to the theme, Hannah explained "My mom had 4 miscarriages since I was really little and the doctors couldn't figure out why. But now, my mom has a miracle baby growing inside her belly! We all never stopped dreaming and believing that one day this could still happen."

Hannah's Reflections photography entry in the Primary Division (Kindergarten through 2nd grade) won 1st place at Musson Elementary School, and then moved on to the District level. At Rochester Community Schools District level, Hannah's entry won 1st place and was also honored with a special award for "Best Interpretation" for the entire Photography category at all levels (Kindergarten through grade 12). 

The submission proceeded on to the state level, and again won 1st place in the primary division for photography. Musson Principal Victoria Righter explains "only first place winners at the state level could move on to the national level. Hannah Barrett became the first student in Musson's history to be recognized in this manner. We are thrilled." 

The National PTA gives up to three Awards of Excellence and five Awards of Merit in each grade division of each arts area. The National PTA Reflections entries were judged in May, and Hannah received an Honorable Mention for her photography entry.

The National PTA Reflections program supports student success and serves as a valuable tool for building strong partnerships within each school community. Often, area businesses will donate funds or prizes to the individual school's Reflections PTA committee. For more information on the program, go to http://www.pta.org/programs/artsineducation.cfm.

Source: Rochester Community Schools

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