Students at Fifty-Six US Schools to Create Ornaments for National Christmas Tree Celebration in Washington, D.C.

Monday, October 28, 2019NPF News

WASHINGTON—At fifty-six schools across the country, students are creating one-of-a-kind ornaments for the 2019 National Christmas Tree display on the Ellipse in President’s Park. These handcrafted ornaments will adorn fifty-six smaller trees that surround the National Christmas Tree. The 56 trees represent each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia as part of the America Celebrates display.

“I never would have imagined I could actually create an ornament for the National Christmas Tree display that represents my entire state!” Kayden Moore, a seventh grade student at Harlem Middle School in Loves Park, Illinois said. “It is an honor that students from our small city were chosen for this once in a lifetime event!”

From state flowers to notable landmarks, students across the country are creating ornaments that celebrate their state, district or territory. Learn about last year’s student artists and ornaments.

“Everyone has a home but not everyone has the honor of representing their home in Washington, D.C.,” Danica Lambert, a seventh grader at St. James–St. John School in New Bedford, Massachusetts said. “My heart is filled with love and joy to be able to represent my home of Massachusetts.”

Through a partnership with the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education worked with state art and education agencies to identify elementary, middle and high schools whose students would create the ornaments for the America Celebrates display. Over 1,500 students will participate in this year’s project. The project is funded by the National Park Foundation.

"I am happy that other people get to see our work!" Brian Hunter, a sixth grade student at Marvin M. Sedway Middle School in North Las Vegas, Nevada, said. "I want to show everyone that we can do it!"

The America Celebrates display is one of the highlights of the National Christmas Tree experience, which will begin on Thursday, Dec. 5 with the 97th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Fifty-six trees surround the National Christmas Tree in President's Park each year. The trees are decorated with ornaments created by students in each state, territory and the District of Columbia.

Fifty-six trees surround the National Christmas Tree in President's Park.

NPF Photo / Paul Morigi

56 Schools to Create Ornaments for 2019 National Christmas Tree Display in President’s Park:

Alabama: Hamilton High School

Alaska: Valley Pathways High School

American Samoa: Leone High School

Arizona: Grand Canyon Unified School District

Arkansas: Monticello High School

California: West Valley High School

Colorado: Grand Mountain School

Connecticut: House of Arts, Letters and Science (HALS) Academy

Delaware: Cab Calloway School of the Arts

District of Columbia: Ballou High School

Florida: Suwannee High School

Georgia: Valley Point Middle School

Guam: Simon Sanchez High School

Hawaii: Maui High School

Idaho: Timberline High School

Illinois: Harlem Middle School

Indiana: Paoli High School

Iowa: Clear Creek Amana Middle School

Kansas: Cheney High School

Kentucky: Adair County High School

Louisiana: Dutchtown High School

Maine: Presque Isle High School

Maryland: North Hagerstown High School

Massachusetts: St. James – St. John School

Michigan: NorthPointe Christian High School

Minnesota: Riverside Christian School

Mississippi: Florence High School

Missouri: Carthage High School

Montana: Hellgate High School

Nebraska: Lutheran High Northeast

Nevada: Marvin M. Sedway Middle School

New Hampshire: Belmont Middle School

New Jersey: Morris County School of Technology

New Mexico: Los Alamos Middle School

New York: Averill Park High School

North Carolina: Bethel School

North Dakota: Simle Middle School

Northern Mariana Islands: Saipan Southern High School

Ohio: Firelands High School

Oklahoma: Coweta High School

Oregon: Howard Street Carter School

Pennsylvania: Danville Area Middle School

Puerto Rico: Ernesto Ramos Antonini Fine Arts School

Rhode Island: Exeter-West Greenwich High School

South Carolina: Johnston-Edgefield-Trenton Middle School

South Dakota: Sisseton Middle School

Tennessee: D-B EXCEL

Texas: Lyford Middle School

Utah: Whitehorse High School

Vermont: The School of Sacred Heart Saint Francis de Sales

US Virgin Islands: Arthur Richards K-8 School

Virginia: Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology

Washington: Cavelero Mid High School

West Virginia: Robert L. Bland Middle School

Wisconsin: Red Creek Elementary School

Wyoming: Wyoming Indian Middle School

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will kick off the holiday season with live musical performances, special guests and the official lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The festivities continue with a daily lighting of the National Christmas Tree, free evening musical performances and a chance to see the 56 state, district and territory trees and their ornaments up close from Dec. 9, 2019 through Jan. 1, 2020.Since 1973, the National Christmas Tree has been a living tree which can be viewed year-round in President’s Park – one of America’s 419 national parks! The National Park Service recently planted a new Colorado blue spruce to serve as the National Christmas Tree.The National Christmas Tree Lighting has strong ties to education. In 1923, a letter arrived at the White House from the District of Columbia Public Schools proposing that a decorated Christmas tree be placed on the South Lawn of the White House. On Christmas Eve that year, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the Oval Office to the Ellipse and pushed a button that lit the first National Christmas Tree. It was a 48-foot fir donated by Middlebury College in Vermont.

For more event information and updates, please visit www.thenationaltree.org or follow President’s Park on Facebook or Twitter. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2019.


ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. The National Park Service has cared for the White House and its grounds since 1933. President’s Park, which includes the Ellipse and Lafayette Park, was officially included in the national park system in 1961. Visit us at: www.nps.gov, on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter: www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube: www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

ABOUT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The original Department of Education was created in 1867 to collect information on schools and teaching that would help states establish effective school systems. In 1980, Congress established the U.S. Department of Education as a Cabinet-level agency. While the agency’s name and location within the Executive Branch have changed over the past 150 years, this early emphasis on getting information on what works in education to teachers and education policymakers continues to the present day. Today, the Department operates programs that touch on every area and level of education. Its elementary and secondary programs annually serve over 18,000 school districts and more than 55 million students attending nearly 100,000 public schools and approximately 35,000 private schools. Department programs also provide grant, loan, and work-study assistance to about 16 million postsecondary students.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.