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The arts—and the National PTA Reflections program—support student success and serve as a valuable tool for building strong partnerships in your school community. Illinois PTA encourages all local PTA units to celebrate arts learning with the Reflections program.

Reflections is the National PTA arts program that asks children to get creative! Students are invited to create works of art in any of six different arts categories, reflecting upon a different theme each year. The six arts categories are dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. The theme for the 2019-2020 school year is “Look Within”

Reflections Theme Advancers

2018-2019 Illinois State PTA National Advancer & Honorable Mention

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Know How to Talk to Your Teen About Instagram

Social media plays a big role in teens’ lives today. It’s where they connect with friends and family, celebrate major milestones, share everyday moments, and discover new passions and interests.
To help teens use social media safely and responsibly, National PTA and Instagram have partnered up to create this guide for parents and guardians.

In this guide, we focus on three ways to control your Instagram experience. You’ll learn how to manage and talk to your teen about:

  • Privacy
  • Interactions
  • Time

We’ve included the basics of the app, a description of the safety tools, plus a discussion guide for how parents can have an open conversation with their teens about Instagram.

View Guide

Video Guide

A group of parents who work at Instagram talk about the tools they use to foster positive online experiences for their teens.

View Guide

For more resources go to parents.instagram.com.



National PTA School of Excellence

National PTA School of Excellence is a recognition program that supports and celebrates partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.

Enrollment for the 2019-20 program is now closed. Be sure to check back on May 1 for next year’s enrollment period!

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SPOTLIGHT is a FREE event developed in partnership with Millikin University to celebrate the children in our state. This event is open to all children and families in Illinois. This afternoon of celebration, held on Millikin University’s Campus in Decatur, Illinois, will provide arts opportunities for children of all ages through the various workshops available for them to participate in. Adults and children alike will be inspired by the gallery displays of pieces created by our Reflections participants.

2019 Highlights

Graduation Achievement Student School College Concept

Student Scholarships

The Illinois PTA Scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors each year. Students entering an education related field of study are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, and their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities.  

The 2019-2020 application is now open and the deadline is February 14, 2020.

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Family Reading Experience

It doesn’t have to be National Reading Month to host a PTA Family Reading Experience. Check out our NEW, interactive approach that engages the whole family in reading activities!

Parents take part in the fun with their kids and leave the event with a deeper understanding of the simple ways they can support literacy. National PTA has partnered with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) to provide literacy expertise and activities to host an engaging and effective Family Reading Experience.

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STEM & Families

National PTA’s STEM + Families initiative increases access to STEM education and careers, especially among under-represented youth, by developing, evaluating and sharing effective ways to engage families in STEM experiences, while working with partners to improve access to STEM school and community learning environments. PTA’s vision is that all students have the family and community support needed to access and pursue STEM opportunities and careers.

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PTA Connected 

What Does It Mean to be PTA Connected?

Parenting in the digital age is complex. PTA Connected strives to help children act safely, responsibly and thoughtfully online. National PTA has been a partner to parents on digital parenting topics for over 5 years, exploring in-depth the issues that are on the minds of today’s families, and connecting parents with tools, research and supports to make the best decisions for their children.

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Connect for Respect

Research shows that one of the most effective ways to prevent bullying behavior is to create a positive school climate. School climate encompasses everything that contributes to a student’s experience with a school—from the physical building to policies, staff and peer culture.

Use the Connect for Respect (C4R) Toolkit to guide your PTA/PTSA in engaging students in improving the school climate and reducing bullying.

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For additional programs click here.