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White House Tree Features Wisconsin Kids’ Ornaments

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Students from the Wisconsin School for the Deaf designed ornaments featured in this year’s “America Celebrates” display surrounding the National Christmas Tree.

One student, Jason, reflected, "The teamwork, sharing ideas, and working together were the most enjoyable aspects of making the ornaments."

Glass globe ornament with American Indian woman figure
One of the ornaments by Wisconsin School
for the Deaf students on display in
Washington, D.C. this holiday season.

The 5th and 8th grade students, with Art Teacher Susan Dupor, made ornaments that showcase things that make Wisconsin special.

They began the project by researching and discovering the rich history and unique facts about Wisconsin.

Some of the themes selected for the globe ornaments were Wisconsin's Dairy industry, the first Earth Day, the robin (Wisconsin’s state bird), the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) and the Ho-Chunk Nation, the extinct mammoth, and formation of the Circus Colony.

The students were inspired to mold and shape the representative figures and scenes out of colorful homemade salt dough clay and polymer clay.

One student created a snowy scene of Milwaukee with clay formed city buildings and Shrinky Dink drawings, while another pair of students made a detailed historical scene of a lumberjack chopping timber.

"I enjoyed using my skills to create the tiny animal figurines for our ornament," said Marinna, a student in the class.

The hand crafted ornaments are adorning one of 56 trees – each representing a state, territory, or the District of Columbia – through January 1, 2017.

Six students smiling and holding their ornaments.
Wisconsin School for the Deaf students enjoyed made ornaments now adorning the National Christmas Tree lighting display in Washington, D.C.

Jalila, another student, said “this project … will definitely bring good memories of being in Art." 

This is the 94th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting display, presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation.

The first took place on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators.