Washington, D.C. – This week, Representative Mary Sattler Peltola extended her gratitude to the students at Effie Kokrine Charter School in Fairbanks for supplying the ornaments that adorn the tree representing Alaska next to the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.
“I am incredibly proud of the creative work these students put into each of their ornaments that are now on display here in Washington, D.C.,” said Peltola. “All of Alaska should be proud of how these talented students have represented our beautiful state.”
The Fairbanks students were participating in the America Celebrates ornament program which is an annual collaboration of the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Park Foundation. The program allows American students from around the country to design one-of-a-kind ornaments to celebrate the places they call home. This year, more than 2,600 students participated.
Peltola called the America Celebrates ornament program “an amazing opportunity for students to show their pride in their home states.”
The ornaments are displayed on 58 smaller trees that surround the National Christmas Tree just outside the White House. Each tree represents a state, territory, or school managed by the Bureau of Indian Education and the Department of Defense Education Activity.
“The ornaments created by Effie Kokrine Students show aspects of our natural environment and animals that are important to different Alaska Native cultures,” said Josh Snow, principal of Effie Kokrine Charter School. “While our school is located in the interior of Alaska, our students have family ties to Native communities from all regions of our state. Harvesting food from the land, subsistence, continues to be a fundamental part of our students’ lives. This can be seen in the different ornament designs.”
The ornaments will be on display until January 1, 2023. You can learn more and view photos of each school’s ornaments on the President’s Park Facebook page.