By Lori BODNAR
Mountain Avenue Elementary School student Daisy Kim, who entered fifth grade when school started, won third place at the state level in the California State Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Reflections Contest. The PTA Reflections theme was “Show Your Voice.” Over 30,000 students in pre-K to 12th grade submitted their original works to PTA Reflections. The original works corresponded to a student-selected theme with California being one of the states with the most submissions.
Daisy titled her project “Me to We” in the Visual Arts Intermediate Division Category.
“Last year, I learned an important lesson that when you flip the letter M in the word ‘me’ it simply becomes ‘we,’” she said. “That lesson really changed my thinking, and I realized that world changing thoughts can start from a simple idea. The light on the candle in my artwork symbolizes my small voice that has the potential to shine bright and influence my friends/peers to come together as one. A light not only has the strength to light up a dark room, it also has the strength to grow with love, wisdom, hope, peace and harmony.”
Daisy enjoyed her experience competing in the different levels in PTA Reflections.
“I won first place at Mountain Avenue Elementary School, first place at Glendale Unified School District – Council level, first place at First District level, and finally I won third place at California State level. At first, I thought it was impossible to win at the state level since it is such a big competition. Also, my painting went to an exhibition in the Sacramento PTA convention.”
Daisy has participated in PTA Reflections in the past and plans on continuing submitting PTA Reflections projects again this upcoming year.
“I did one project in visual arts last year,” she said. “I have submitted many artworks in a couple of different categories since kindergarten. In total I have done Reflections five times. I am planning to do visual arts and photography in PTA Reflections for this year.”
Daisy said she enjoys participating in Reflections because of the unique, creative challenge that the contest presents.
“I like how every year’s theme is different and has a powerful message,” she said. “The message not only has a heart-felt meaning, it also challenges me to think about what it truly means to me. Personally, each year I think deeply about Reflections theme titles and the more I think about the theme, I learn about myself and the world. I like to tell my story by using my artistic skills. For my education, Reflections requires me to write an artist statement. Therefore, it helps me to train to be a better writer.”
Bo Kim, Daisy’s mom, remarked on the benefits of the Reflections program to her family.
“As Daisy mentioned, the theme really is inspiring,” said Kim. “For our family, when the new theme is announced we make it our homework to discuss what it means. As parents, we get to see her thought process in translating the theme but at the same time we are able to share our thoughts with her as well. We just enjoy the dialogue it creates.”
Kim was one of the PTA chairpersons involved in Reflections.
“We had a total of 43 submissions,” she said. “I was the co-chair along with now a dear friend Amy Jo Rhine, who plays the third horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Because of my art background, when I volunteered for the PTA our previous chair asked if I would be interested in joining Reflections. It felt like a huge undertaking, but when I look back now it’s been a blessing to take part in inspiring our younger generation to be more expressive. I hope through our story, we are inspiring more families to join Reflections.”
Daisy’s artwork “Me to We” is the 2023-24 school year’s cover art for GUSD students Thursday folder, a folder that all students use to weekly bring home their school work.
The theme for PTA Reflections for the upcoming school year is “I Am Hopeful Because…”, which was created by a student in Alabama. The six categories for art submissions include: visual arts, literature, music composition, photography, dance choreography and film production. The division categories include primary, intermediate, middle school, and high school.