National Park Service News Release
| Release Date: November 14, 2022 |
Contact: Chelsea Sullivan, Chelsea_Sullivan@nps.gov, 202-297-2659
Students get creative for the 100th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
American Celebrates trees in 2021. Ornaments designed by students from each state, territory, and more, adorned small trees around the National Christmas Tree. NPS Photo.
WASHINGTON—From state flowers to notable landmarks, American students have designed one-of-a-kind ornaments to celebrate the places they call home. These ornaments will adorn 58 smaller trees that surround the National Christmas Tree. The trees represent states, territories, and schools managed by the Bureau of Indian Education and the Department of Defense Education Activity.
The America Celebrates ornament program is an annual collaboration of the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Park Foundation (NPF). Each federal partner worked within their organizations to facilitate the identification of elementary, middle and high schools to participate in the America Celebrates program. The project is funded by the NPF.
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.
- During World War II, wartime restrictions meant no new ornaments were purchased for the National Christmas Tree in 1942. Washington, D.C students donated ornaments that would supplement the use of reused ornaments from previous years.
- This year, more than 2,600 students participated in the American Celebrates ornament program! The students, ages 4 to 19-years-old, learned about the places they call home. From history and ecological wonders, to exploring different mediums of art, these students’ ornaments are a must-see this holiday.
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 423 national parks!
The America Celebrates display is one of the highlights of the National Christmas Tree experience. You’re invited to view the National Christmas Tree and the 58 trees’ ornaments up close from Dec. 2 through Jan. 1, 2023. Can’t make in in person? Check out the President’s Park Facebook page for photos of the ornaments!
In partnership with NPF, CBS will broadcast the 2022 ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 11 (8 – 9 p.m., ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The National Christmas Tree Lighting will also be available for the public to view at CBS.com beginning Dec. 12.
Stay tuned to learn more about this year’s event! For more event information and updates, please visit www.thenationaltree.org and follow President’s Park on Facebook or Twitter.
58 schools designed ornaments for the 2022 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park:
Alabama - Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies (Mobile)
Alaska - Effie Kokrine Charter School (Fairbanks)
American Samoa - Nu'uuli Vocational Technical High School (Pago Pago)
Arizona - San Luis High School (San Luis)
Arkansas - Little Rock West High School of Innovation (Little Rock)
California - Nueva Vista Language Academy (Delano)
Colorado - Infinity Middle School (Aurora)
Connecticut - O'Connell Elementary School (East Hartford)
Delaware - North Dover Elementary School (Dover)
District of Columbia - Friendship Public Charter School Blow Pierce Academy
Florida - Tohopekaliga High School (Kissimmee)
Georgia - Heritage High School (Conyers)
Guam - iLearn Academy Charter School (Dededo)
Hawaii - James Campbell High School (Ewa Beach)
Idaho - Christine Donnell School of the Arts (Boise)
Illinois - Oregon Junior/Senior High School (Oregon)
Indiana - Union Elementary School (Zionsville)
Iowa - Eagle Grove Elementary (Eagle Grove)
Kansas - Leawood Middle School (Leawood)
Kentucky - Owensboro Innovation Academy (Owensboro)
Louisiana - Harry Hurst Middle School (Destrehan)
Maine - Robert Connors Elementary School (Lewiston)
Maryland - Calvert High School (Prince Frederick)
Massachusetts - Falmouth Academy (Falmouth)
Michigan - Hanover-Horton Elementary School (Hanover)
Minnesota - Clover Ridge Elementary School (Chaska)
Mississippi - Madison Middle School (Madison)
Missouri - Sullivan High School (Sullivan)
Montana - Hyalite Elementary School (Bozeman)
Nebraska - Bennington South Middle School (Bennington)
Nevada - Garside Junior High School (Las Vegas)
New Hampshire - Arts Academy of New Hampshire (Salem)
New Jersey - Leeds Avenue Elementary School (Pleasantville)
New Mexico - Bernalillo Elementary School (Bernalillo)
New York - Maplewood Intermediate School (Huntington Station)
North Carolina - Greene Central High School (Snow Hill)
North Dakota - Valley City Jr. Sr. High School (Valley City)
Northern Mariana Islands - Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System
Ohio - Lakota Central (West Chester)
Oklahoma - Jenks Middle School (Tulsa)
Oregon - Oregon School for the Deaf (Salem)
Pennsylvania - Kutztown Area High School (Kutztown)
Puerto Rico - Escuela Especializada de Educacion Bilingue (Cidra)
Rhode Island - Young Woods Elementary School (Providence)
South Carolina - Saluda High School (Saluda)
South Dakota - Stanley County Elementary School (Fort Pierre)
Tennessee - Arlington High School (Arlington)
Texas - Del Valle High School (El Paso)
U.S. Virgin Islands - St. Croix Educational Complex (Christiansted)
Utah - Helen M. Knight Elementary School (Moab)
Vermont - Wallingford Elementary School (Wallingford)
Virginia - Falmouth Elementary School (Falmouth)
Washington - Lummi Nation School (Bellingham)
West Virginia - Robert L. Bland Middle School (Weston)
Wisconsin - Jackson Elementary School (Janesville)
Bureau of Indian Education
- Taos Day School (N.M.)
- Riverside Indian School (Oka.)
Department of Defense Education Activity
- Brussels Elementary High School (Belgium)
- Bechtel Elementary School (Japan)
- Fort Campbell High School (KY)
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 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 works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community, and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. Learn more at nationalparks.org.
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