(Photo from National Park Service)
Students at Robert V. Connors Elementary School in Lewiston created one-of-a-kind ornaments now adorning Maine’s tree as part of the 2022 National Christmas Tree display on the Ellipse in President’s Park outside of the White House.
Students and educators from Connors Elementary School’s Civil Rights Team led the effort and designed ornaments featuring familiar Maine scenes including the outline of the state, moose, lobsters, and pine trees filled with messages celebrating the themes of belonging, inclusivity, and feeling welcome. They wanted to ensure that those who don’t celebrate the holiday were also represented and highlight how Maine welcomes all.
“The students were really excited to be part of this, and we are really honored to have this opportunity,” said Kelsey Boucher, an art teacher at Connors Elementary and the 2022 Androscoggin County teacher of the year. “Students were already working on a Day of Welcome project and wanted to make ornaments about what makes them feel welcome at school. They got creative by filling in outlines of iconic Maine shapes with diverse images and messages around belonging, inclusivity, and welcoming all.”
Boucher joined her Civil Rights Team Co-Advisor Nesrene Griffin and Assistant Principal Travis Jalbert in Washington, D.C. today to represent Maine for the National Christmas Tree lighting this evening. The school will host a watch party for students, educators, and family members when the ceremony is aired on December 11.
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). These ornaments 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. This year, more than 2,600 students participated in the America Celebrates ornament program. Click here for more information.