News Release

American students here and abroad create ornaments for National Christmas Tree display in D.C.

State trees decorated with student-made ornaments in 2020.
State trees decorated with student-made ornaments in 2020.

NPS/ Liz Macro

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News Release Date: November 22, 2021

Contact: Chelsea Sullivan (NPS), 202-297-2659

Contact: Department of Education, 202-401-1576

Contact: Alanna Sobel (NPF), 202-796-2538

WASHINGTON – Students from 58 schools across the nation and abroad have designed one-of-a-kind ornaments for the 2021 National Christmas Tree display on the Ellipse in President’s Park. These unique ornaments will adorn 58 smaller trees surrounding the National Christmas Tree. The trees represent each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia as part of the America Celebrates ornament display. Schools managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education and the Department of Defense Education Activity will also participate in the display for the first time this year.  

The America Celebrates ornament program is an annual collaboration of the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Department of Education and the National Park Foundation (NPF). The U.S. Department of Education worked with states and territories to identify elementary, middle and high schools to participate in the America Celebrates program. The project is funded by the NPF.  

From state flowers to notable landmarks, students created ornaments that celebrate the places they call home. Check out the President’s Park Facebook page for more photos of ornaments.  

The America Celebrates display is one of the highlights of the National Christmas Tree experience. In partnership with NPF, CBS will broadcast the 2021 ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 8:30-9:30 PM, ET/8-9 PM, PT on the CBS Television Network. 

You’re invited to view the National Christmas Tree and the 58 state, district and territory trees and their ornaments up close daily from Dec. 4 through Jan. 1, 2022.  

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 balsam fir donated by Middlebury College in Vermont.  

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! Ahead of the holiday season, the NPS planted a new National Christmas Tree. The new tree is a 27-foot white fir (Abies Concolor) from Middleburg, Pa. The new National Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time on Dec. 2 during the 99th National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. 

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 2021 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park: 

Alabama 

McAdory High School 

Alaska 

Ayaprun Elitnaurvik/Chinook Elementary 

American Samoa 

Manulele Tausala Elementary School 

Arizona 

Nogales High School 

Arkansas 

Virtual Arkansas 

California 

Thousand Oaks Elementary 

Colorado 

Merino Schools 

Connecticut 

Andover Elementary School 

Delaware 

Laurel Middle School 

District of Columbia 

Eastern High School 

Florida 

Osceola High School 

Georgia 

North Paulding High School 

Guam 

Academy of Our Lady of Guam 

Hawaii 

President William McKinley High School 

Idaho 

Idaho Arts Charter School 

Illinois 

Betty Shabazz International Charter School 

Indiana 

Danville North Elementary 

Iowa 

Johnston High School 

Kansas 

Blue Valley and Most Pure Heart of Mary 

Kentucky 

Marion County High School 

Louisiana 

Washington Marion Magnet High School 

Maine 

Bangor High School 

Maryland 

Manchester Valley High School 

Massachusetts 

St. John Paul II Catholic Academy 

Michigan 

Benton Harbor Area Schools 

Minnesota 

St. Alphonsus Catholic School 

Mississippi 

Ida B. Wells Academic & Performing Arts Complex 

Missouri 

Owensville High School 

Montana 

Arlee High School 

Nebraska 

Cody Elementary School 

Nevada 

Ferron Elementary School 

New Hampshire 

Rundlett Middle School 

New Jersey 

Durban Avenue Elementary School 

New Mexico 

New Mexico School for the Arts 

New York 

Marlboro High School 

North Carolina 

Alleghany High School 

North Dakota 

Sheyenne High School 

Northern Mariana Islands 

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System 

Ohio 

Shawnee Local Schools 

Oklahoma 

Glenpool High School 

Oregon 

Oregon School for the Deaf 

Pennsylvania 

George W. Nebinger School 

Puerto Rico 

Escuela Dr. Francisco Hernández y Gaetán 

Rhode Island 

Mary E. Fogarty Elementary 

South Carolina 

Inman Elementary School 

South Dakota 

Tri-Valley High School 

Tennessee 

West Middle School 

Texas 

Caldwell Arts Academy 

U.S. Virgin Islands 

St. Croix Educational Complex 

Utah 

Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind 

Vermont 

Colchester High School 

Virginia 

Binford Middle School 

Washington 

Harmony Elementary School 

West Virginia 

Robert L. Bland Middle School 

Wisconsin 

Highland Community Schools 

Wyoming 

Eastside Elementary School 

Bureau of Indian Education 

Pine Springs Day School (Arizona), Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School (South Dakota), Lac Court Orielles Ojibwe School (Wisconsin) 

Department of Defense Education Activity 

Vogelweh Elementary School (Kaiserslautern, Germany), Humphreys High School (Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea), and Ramey Unit School (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico) 


 

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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. 

 

 



Last updated: November 22, 2021

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