DANVILLE — Student-artists at Danville Middle School are creating two dozen ornaments to represent Pennsylvania in Washington, D.C., this holiday season.

Twenty four student-made decorations will hang upon a tree representing Pennsylvania, which is one of 56 smaller trees surrounding the National Christmas Tree, as part of the 2019 America Celebrates display. The trees — signifying each state, territory and the District of Columbia — are decorated by a total of 56 schools across the nation, according to the National Park Service.

Danville Middle School art teacher Megan Heistand applied to the project at the end of August. In early September, she was notified the school had been chosen.

The National Park Service sent 24 clear 5 and one-half inch plastic globes that students will decorate on the inside or outside. The ornaments should be weatherproof since they will be hanging outside, Heistand said.

They have until the end of October to complete the project and send the artwork to the National Park Foundation, she said.

Each school will be recognized with a sign placed directly beside the state or territory Christmas tree. The predominant color scheme for the ornaments will be red and green with gold as an optional accent color.

Designs should represent the state such as including the state flower, state tree, state landmarks, state flag or geographic features.

Schools creating ornaments will also be recognized on the tree program and website, Heistand said.

Seventh graders Josephine Signor, 12, and Isabella Stem, 11, chose to draw a ruffed grouse, which is Pennsylvania’s state bird. They plan to add the state animal — a white-tailed deer — and may do them in watercolor.

Dakota Chappell and Elizabeth Meyers, both 13 and in eighth grade, are excited. “It’s a once in a lifetime chance,” Chappell said. “We get to show not only Pennsylvania but our creativity,” Meyers said.

Janelle Stassel, a 12-year-old seventh-grader, began by modeling a deer in a cornfield. She may add a Christmas tree.

“I’m excited for it,” she said.

Collin Cummings, 13, and in eighth grade, will be painting four watercolors of the seasons of Pennsylvania and has started on a fall scene. He plans to arrange them inside the globe.

Many of the students participating are in the art club. They will be working at the end of the school day, plus a few days when they will be able to work on them before and after school.

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