Trimming the tree
Students help decorate BOE lobby with ornaments

COVINGTON - The Newton County School System is getting ready for Christmas.

Last week, employees put up a Christmas tree in the lobby of the Newton County Board of Education building, located on Newton Drive.

It was bare until Friday afternoon, when a group of fifth-grade students from Christina Malcolm's Ficquett Elementary School class helped decorate the tree with ornaments made by students of several elementary schools in Newton County.

"(Students) made the ornaments, so we thought they should be the ones to put them on (the tree)," said Sherri Viniard, director of public relations for the school system. "At the Board of Education, we look at this tree as a community tree. (The students) are the most important part of the school system."

This is the first year the school system asked the students to decorate the tree, but the second year that all elementary school students have made ornaments for the tree.

"We requested that all of the elementary schools send 10 decorations for the tree," Viniard said.

Some schools made paper Christmas trees or Santa Claus figures. This year, Fairview Elementary School students made golden doves with thick paper and glitter and other schools made figures out of popsicle sticks, yarn and other craft material.

"They come up with some amazing artwork," Viniard said about the ornaments. "We end up with a pretty amazing tree when it's done."

She said the school system doesn't tell the students what type of ornaments to make.

"All we do is ask them to provide 10 ornaments made by the students," she said. "What's amazing is that each school always does something completely different."

To keep the holiday spirit alive, chorus students at the elementary schools and Sharp Learning Center will give holiday concerts throughout the month of December at the Board of Education offices.

Viniard said sometimes they will line up in front of the tree or on the second-floor railing in the BOE lobby to sing to their parents and school system employees.

"This is their school system; they're the reason we're here," she said.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: If You Go

What: Elementary School Chorus Concerts

When:10:30 a.m. today - Middle Ridge Elementary

8:30 a.m. Wednesday - Sharp Learning Center

9 a.m. Wednesday - Ficquett Elementary

9:15 a.m. Thursday - East Newton Elementary

9:30 a.m. Friday - Fairview Elementary

10 a.m. Dec. 10 - Oak Hill Elementary

9:30 a.m. Dec. 11 - Livingston Elementary

9:30 a.m. Dec. 12 - Palmer Stone Elementary

10:30 a.m. Dec. 12 - Mansfield Elementary

10 a.m. Dec. 13 - West Newton Elementary

11 a.m. Dec. 13 - Rocky Plains Elementary

Where: Newton County Board of Education, 2109 Newton Drive, Covington