HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (PIX11) — Some third graders on Long Island received a national honor.
The Maplewood Intermediate School in the South Huntington School District was the only school in New York state chosen to make ornaments for the 100th National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington, D.C. The broadcast of the tree lighting is this Sunday, Dec. 11.
The assignment was “What Makes New York State Beautiful?” Principal William Hender selected the students in Ms. Viviana Polanco’s third grade bilingual class to make the designs that would be turned into ornaments for the New York State Tree. It’s one of 58 smaller trees that surround the big one in President’s Park near the White House.
Hender told PIX11 News he chose Polanco’s class because “it’s a dual language class, and when you really looked at the project, it was about what makes New York state so great, and I think the diversity in New York state is wonderful and the diversity we have in South Huntington really exemplifies that.”
“The fact they’re able to do this and take it so seriously, I’m very proud and it’s very cool to see it right in front of the White House,” Polanco said.
Her students say they thought long and hard about their designs.
Charlotte Janssen drew the Times Square Ball Drop. “It’s big and it’s sparkly, so many colors, so many pretty colors, and it’s very bright!” she said.
“I drew music notes around it, looking like someone is learning,” Carly Szeitz said.
As for being on the national stage, Szeitz said, “I feel so nervous but so excited that everyone is going to be seeing it.”
Dylan Velasquez also expressed his nervous excitement, saying, “This is my first time having a picture in front of people.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone will recognize the students Friday afternoon in a special gathering at the H.Lee Dennison Building.