WASHINGTON – Fifty-six schools across the country are creating one-of-a-kind ornaments for the 2018 National Christmas Tree experience on the Ellipse in President’s Park in Washington, D.C. These handcrafted ornaments will adorn 56 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.
The America Celebrates display is one of the highlights of the National Christmas Tree experience, which will begin on November 28 with the 96th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Each school will create ornaments that celebrate its state, district or territory. Learn about last year’s artists and ornaments.
Through a partnership with the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education worked with state art and education agencies to identify middle and high schools whose students would create the ornaments. The project is funded by the National Park Foundation.
"It's an excitement and privilege; patriotism at its best,” Gavin Kumar, a ninth-grade student at Leonardtown High School in Leonardtown, Maryland said. “I'm excited that my artwork is going to be on display for thousands of people to see."
“We are very honored for our class to have such a great opportunity to represent the state of Michigan at the National Christmas Tree display," Aniyah Moore, a 12th-grade student at Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint, Michigan said. "It will be fun to create the ornaments, and to show our creativity for our state.”
"I'm honored our small school has the opportunity to represent the beautiful Big Sky State, through art, at a national level,” Elizabeth Donahue, a ninth-grade student at Roundup Junior/Senior High School in Roundup, Montana said.
Fifty-six schools to create ornaments for 2018 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park:
Alabama: Hewitt-Trussville Middle School
Alaska: Tanana Middle School
American Samoa: Fagaitua High School
Arizona: Isaac Middle School
Arkansas: Ardis Ann Middle School
California: Gabrielino High School
Colorado: Chappelow K-8 Arts Magnet School
Connecticut: Carmen Arace Intermediate School
Delaware: Dover Air Force Base Middle School
District of Columbia: SEED Public Charter School
Florida: Lecanto High School
Georgia: Riverwood High School
Guam: Agueda I. Johnston Middle School
Hawaii: Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School
Idaho: Central Academy
Illinois: Dwight Township High School
Indiana: Our Lady of Grace Catholic School
Iowa: Starmont Middle School
Kansas: Colby Middle School
Kentucky: Kentucky School for the Deaf and Kentucky School for the Blind
Louisiana: Wossman High School
Maine: Lawrence High School
Maryland: Leonardtown High School
Massachusetts: St Charles School
Michigan: Carman-Ainsworth High School
Minnesota: MACCRAY High School
Mississippi: Forest Hill High School
Missouri: Hazelwood West Middle School
Montana: Roundup Jr.-Sr. High School
Nebraska: St. Mary's School Bellevue
Nevada: Gerlach K-12
New Hampshire: Contoocook Valley Regional High School
New Jersey: Ocean City High School
New Mexico: El Dorado Community School
New York: Dryden Senior High School
North Carolina: Needham B. Broughton High School
North Dakota: Beulah High School
Northern Mariana Islands: Saipan Southern High School
Ohio: Milford Junior High School
Oklahoma: Middle School of Piedmont
Oregon: Howard St. Charter School
Pennsylvania: Middletown Area Middle School
Puerto Rico: Escuela Especializada de Bellas Artes Ernesto Ramos Antonini
Rhode Island: Paul W. Crowley East Bay Met School
South Carolina: John W. Moore Intermediate School
South Dakota: Roosevelt High School
Tennessee: Fairview Middle School
Texas: Knippa School, Knippa ISD
Utah: Evergreen Junior High School
Vermont: Randolph Elementary and Middle School
US Virgin Islands: St. Croix Educational Complex
Virginia: Governor's School for the Arts
Washington: Graham-Kapowsin High School
West Virginia: Washington High School
Wisconsin: DeLong Middle School
Wyoming: Lingle-Fort Laramie High School
Today’s National Christmas Tree is a living Colorado blue spruce from Virginia, which can be viewed year-round in President’s Park. This year’s 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 December 1, 2018 through January 1, 2019.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 and follow the National Christmas Tree on Twitter at @TheNationalTree. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2018.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 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
Celebrating 50 years, 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, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.