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Concord middle schoolers decorate New Hampshire tree in front of White House

A Christmas tree in front of the White House has a little New Hampshire flair this year, thanks to students from Rundlett Middle School in Concord.

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The Rundlett chapter of the National Junior Art Honor Society was selected to contribute ornaments to the annual tradition, which places trees representing all U.S. states and territories on the Presidents’ Park in Washington, D.C.

The Rundlett students drew ornament-sized illustrations of New Hampshire earlier this semester in response to the prompt: “What makes your state beautiful?”

For eighth-grader Amy Desrochers, the obvious answer was foliage.

“I watercolored a fall tree with a bunch of pretty leaves that were orange and red and yellow,” she said.“We were in the middle of the fall, and the inspiration was all around me.”

Eighth-grader Sadie Chapman drew a covered bridge with mountains in the background.

She said doing art projects like this have helped her get through the pandemic.

"I do art all the time,” she said. “It's my favorite thing. It's such a great escape from the chaos of life and definitely is healing.”

The adorned trees will be on display in Washington for the next two weeks.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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