Harlem Middle School students raise money to attend White House Christmas tree lighting

LOVES PARK (WREX) — Harlem Middle School students were chosen to decorate ornaments for the National Christmas Tree display at the White House. Now, they’re raising money in hopes to attend the tree lighting ceremony in Washington DC.

“To work on something that’s so big and so meaningful it’s something that will be a memory for them for the rest of their life,” Harlem Middle School art teacher Ruth Meissen said.

The hand-crafted ornaments from students from all 50 states, Washington DC and each U.S. territory will adorn 56 smaller trees that surround the National Christmas Tree.

Through a partnership with the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education worked with state art and education agencies to identify elementary, middle and high schools whose students would create the ornaments for the America Celebrates display.

The Harlem Middle School students are hoping to raise enough money to attend the ceremony on Dec. 6 at the White House. MOD Pizza in Machesney Park is hosting a fundraiser for the effort. On Sundays and Tuesdays, 20 percent of all sales will go toward the fundraiser. People willing to donate can also drop off a donation at Harlem Middle School and specify it’s for the tree lighting ceremony at the White House.

The students say they’re proud to be a part of something that represents Loves Park, the Stateline and Illinois as a whole.

“It’s been really fun it’s been a great honor there’s a lot of steps to it,” seventh grader Kamryn Perry said. “It was a really cool experience.”

“Just all the hard work does tend to pay off,” said Adryanna Whitmire. “It shows in the work,” said Zoey Peterson.

Breane Lyga

Breane Lyga

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