Long Island students create NY-themed ornaments for Christmas tree outside White House

From Broadway to the Bronx Zoo, drawings depicting New York’s diversity designed by third-graders at Maplewood Intermediate School in Huntington Station were laminated, scanned, and turned into ornaments that now adorn a Christmas tree outside the White House.

"I feel happy, excited and I like can’t wait until the President and Vice President can see my ornament," said one student. 

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The class was chosen out of more than 4,000 K-12 schools in New York as part of the "America Celebrates" ornaments program.

"They exemplify New York," principal Dr. William Hender. 

Fifty-eight trees - one for each state, territory, and the District of Colombia are decked out with designs made by students to symbolize the history, heritage and culture of their homelands.

Christmas trees at the White House

"We can’t just draw things about Long Island," said teacher Viviana Polanco. "We’re going to represent the entire state. We had a lesson about the diversity of New York just like the diversity of the classroom."

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Designs include notable landmarks, experienced and favorite foods to highlight the place they’re growing up. 

President’s Park is now open to the public through the new year. School officials are working on putting together a trip to Washington so the students can actually see the ornaments they created for themselves. 

"It’s like a once-in-a-lifetime chance," said another student. 

A chance drawn out of love for the state these students call home.