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Local Student Named 2012 PTA Reflections Award Recipient

Emily Lam, 8, was selected as one of six recipients of the prestigious award, out of hundreds of thousands of submissions.

Emily Lam, an 8-year-old student at Sabah Kinder Arts Academy of Art and Design (SKA) in Duluth, has been selected as the National Winner in the PTA Reflections competition.

She is the recipient of the Outstanding Interpretation Award in the Visual Arts category for her work titled “Diversity Means Harmony in the World.”

A Marietta resident, Lam will attend third grade at Mount Bethel Elementary in the fall. Emily attended SKA for four years.

“It was a very impressive award,” said her father, Terence Lam. “I always ask her to do her best every single time, and she knew there was a lot of competition.”

When Emily found out that she won, she and her mother were visiting her grandmother in Hong Kong. They flew back immediately in order to be present at the June 20 award ceremony in San Jose, Calif.

“We are all so proud of her,” said Emily's mother, Natalie, “because we know she tried her best. We felt very honored to be part of the celebration with so many folks from the PTA. It's an experience of a lifetime for her, so that's why we flew 12 hours from Hong Kong to attend the event.”

Her artwork shows children of various races spelling out the word “Diversity.” Each child bears a flag representing a different country on their shirt.

“Diversity means people getting along from different cultures and having harmony,” Emily said. “That's why I drew flags from different countries, monuments and different kinds of people happily together to represent the idea.”

In her official artist's statement, she wrote, “Diversity means harmony in the world because it doesn't matter what color of your skin, what country you are from or who you are, you can be best friends and it makes the world beautiful!”

The Lams are especially grateful to Emily's teacher, Ms. Leng Chee Chang.

“We are so lucky to meet a great teacher like Ms. Leng,” said Mrs. Lam, “who has a passion to work with kids and help develop their creative ideas with skills.”

Emily received a certificate, medallion, and $800 for her winning entry. An additional $200 was awarded to the SKA PTSA.   

The PTA Reflections competition has existed for 40 years to “enhance quality arts education for students in preschool through grade 12, encouraging them to create works of art,” according to their website.

According to SKA, the program is designed to test the boundaries of children's creativity and imagination across the fields of dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography and visual arts.

Each of the six categories selected only one winner out of hundreds of thousands of submissions.

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