Programs + Events

Middle School: Grades 6-8

Congratulations to the California 2018 Reflections Art Program Award of Excellence recipients in the Middle School division.


“Strawberries and Hot Dogs” by Megan Lee

“The term ‘Within Reach’ can be understood in many different ways. My interpretation of ‘Within Reach’ was people are always within reach. No matter how hopeless they seem; it’s all about whether or not you’re brave enough to reach out and help them.


“Say Something” by Marina Palarca

  • Grade: 8
  • Borel Middle School
  • Seventeenth District PTA

Marina Palarca from California State PTA on Vimeo.

“My choreography relates to the theme “Within Reach” because it expresses various emotions of how people deal with being bullied.  They feel scared, lonely and helpless. There are many ways to deal with these feelings.  In this piece, sadness was replaced with hope and strength within reach.”


“To Look a Memory in the Eye” by Alexander Guess

  • Grade: 8
  • Borel Middle School
  • Seventeenth District. PTA

“The song I composed dips in between nostalgia and depression.  It highlights how, no matter how hard we try, dreams and past memories are never relivable, never changeable.  It seems to be oh so close, but so far away.  That’s the beauty of a memory; you can never “lose it” until you forget it.  You can see a memory over and over again but it never will become the reality that shapes our universe.  A memory seems (while still a distant object of our past), close enough that you could almost touch it, as though it was just within reach….”

Visual Arts

“Light Behind You” by Yiju Choi

  • Grade: 8
  • Carmel Valley Middle School
  • Ninth District PTA

“The girl symbolizes Yiju Choi. She is lost in a maze of responsibility, perfection, and dream. There is a bright light of success and perfection so she runs as hard as she can to the shining light. She is passionate, but tired. She needs a rest and support. The bright,shining light of success may suddenly turn to darkness making her feel tired and wanting to give up; however she has to always remember that her family is cheering, comforting and supporting her. She needs to look around and notice that other importance’s are within reach.”


“It’s Always in Reach” by Sierra Jones

  • Grade: 7
  • Travis Ranch Middle School
  • Fourth District PTA

Sierra Jones from California State PTA on Vimeo.

“My stop motion film shows all things that are and can be “Within Reach”. It relates to the theme because it shows you can reach anything if you try.”


“Shrimp Catch 101” by Ryan Aflalo

  • Grade: 7
  • Adams Middle School
  • Thirty-Third District PTA

“I was on a beach and I found a glass bottle in the water. I wanted to use this bottle to catch a fish. I was looking in the water for about two hours and I made a shrimp crawl into this bottle. This photo shows a close up of the shrimp. The shrimp is transparent with orange and black details. In the reflection you can see my friends who were standing by me. Even though shrimp was so close and within reach to me it took a long time to catch it. It takes a lot of patience.”