PARKERSBURG - Submissions from Jackson Middle School in Vienna and from Kanawha Elementary School in Kanawha were chosen among the best of the baubles submitted statewide by students for a Capitol Christmas tree in Charleston.
An ornament, an American flag from squares of paper, from Baelyn Rhyne, a student from Barb Ross' first grade class at Kanawha Elementary, was selected from the submissions by students in the kindergarten through second grade category.
"It's very cool," said Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
From left, Jerelyn Musgrave, basic skills teacher at Kanawha Elementary School, and Baelyn Rhyne, a first-grader, with her ornament for a Capitol Christmas tree in Charleston.
Kanawha students in Jerelyn Musgrave's basic skills class made military-themed ornaments during their art class for the Capitol Christmas Tree in Charleston. A student from each of the 13 classes had their ornament selected to be sent to Charleston and will be displayed on the Christmas tree in the Rotunda of the Capitol.
In keeping with the theme of appreciation for the military, at Jackson, five eighth-grade students in Kay Mason's art honors class were chosen in the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade class. They were Ciara Miller, Madison Orn, Skylar DeVaughn, Nilum Patel and Sarah Poling.
The students submitted a globe with clay figurines from the military branches atop the globe, Mason said. An eagle is perched on the top of the globe, she said.
Students and their families are being asked to participate in the annual Joyful Night Celebration that begins 6 p.m. Thursday at the Capitol in Charleston with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and his wife, Joanne, officiating. Students will be asked to hang their ornaments on the Christmas tree in the Capitol Rotunda, Gresham said.
Events will begin at the North Plaza of the Capitol with musical selections by the Cabell Midland High School Marching Knights, the Marching Honor Band of the Year, and the Appalachian Children's Chorus Cantare Choir from Southern West Virginia. The West Virginia Air National Guard will post the colors, followed by the singing of the national anthem by the VIPs of Capital High School and the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Woody Williams, West Virginia's only living Medal of Honor recipient and a retired chief warrant officer.
The Tomblins will light the Christmas tree donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ray Fewell of Winfield.
Activities will then proceed to the South Plaza of the Capitol where the Philip Barbour High School Band, the "Pride of Barbour County," will perform. A Christmas tree donated by Mr. and Mrs. Al Tolliver of Danese will be lit.
The first floor of the Capitol Rotunda features the Christmas tree decorated with handmade ornaments created by school children throughout the state. The Martin Luther King Jr. Male Chorus will perform.
The Military Recognition Christmas tree is located in the Governor's Reception room at the Capitol. It will feature photos of family and friends who have served or are serving in the military. Visitors also will be encouraged to create holiday cards to send to our troops serving overseas.
The Governor's Mansion also will be open to during Joyful Night. The Tomblins will read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and the Appalachian Children's Chorus and a soloist from the Governor's School of Arts will perform.
The second annual ArtisTree featuring handmade ornaments from West Virginia artisans will be on display at the mansion.
Refreshments will be served at the Culture Center where the Mountainaires Barber Shop Choir will perform to conclude the evening's events.