SOURCE: National PTA

National PTA

February 10, 2009 21:58 ET

Student Artwork From Across the Country to Exhibit at U.S. Department of Education

Dozens of Pieces Selected for Gallery

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - February 10, 2009) - The U.S. Department of Education and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) selected more than 55 award-winning students' works of art to display from PTA's arts Reflections Program -- a channel for students nationwide to create works of art for fun and recognition.

Selected from the 2007-2008 Reflections Program, themed year "I Can Make a Difference by...," the exhibit will open today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Department's headquarters (LBJ Education Building; 11 a.m. - noon) in Washington, D.C.

"I am greatly honored that the Department is hosting the National PTA's student art exhibit. The students in this show, like many, many others around the country and the world, represent the talent and thoughtful, artistic work that can result from the support of their schools, teachers, and families. The arts are a critical component of a complete education, providing an opportunity to see and think in new ways and to innovate, as this exhibit proves," said U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

"The theme of this year's exhibit -- "I Can Make a Difference by..." -- is an inspiration to all of us to engage, as these students have done, in the kind of thinking and efforts that President Obama has asked us to do as citizens of this great nation."

Among those scheduled to attend the event are: Arne Duncan, U.S. Department of Education (invited); John McGrath, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Communications and Outreach; Jan Harp Domene, National PTA president; Byron Garrett, National PTA Chief Executive Officer; Teresa Williams, National PTA Reflections Program Chair; and dozens of other arts education advocates and leaders from across the country. The ceremony will also feature a short performance by international multi-platinum recording artist and National PTA Ambassador CeCe Peniston.

The artwork will be part of an ongoing art exhibition at the department and will be open to public viewing through March 2009. Click here or visit www.pta.org/reflections to view some of the artworks to be exhibited.

"We commend the U.S. Department of Education for showcasing these works of art at a national level. It sends a real signal to children and families that the arts are an important part of education," said Domene. "The Department made a great decision to tap into student artwork from National PTA's Reflections Program. It has given millions of students a way to express themselves through the arts for close to 40 years. We're very proud."

The U.S. Department of Education art exhibit program at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., features visual art created by students in U.S. and international schools, and provides students and teachers an opportunity to display creative work from the classroom in a highly public space in order to honor this work as an effective path to learning and knowledge for all. To visit the "I Can Make a Difference by..." exhibit at the U.S. Department of Education, contact Jacquelyn Zimmermann at 202-401-0762 or at jacquelyn.zimmermann@ed.gov.

About National PTA (www.pta.org)

PTA comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education health, and welfare of children and youth.

About the Reflections Program

In its almost 40-year history, the program has encouraged millions of students across the nation and in American schools overseas to explore their artistic talents. PTA believes all that children deserve a quality arts education and encourages students to pursue artistic expression through participation in its annual Reflections Program. The program offers students the opportunity to create works of art for fun and recognition. Students in preschool through grade 12 are encouraged to submit works of art in four areas: literature, musical composition, photography, and the visual arts (which includes art forms such as drawing, painting, print making, and collage).

To view this release in a media-rich format, go to: http://www.pwrnewmedia.com/2009/pta_021009/index

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