Okolona Elementary students decorate tree for community

By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal

OKOLONA – Students at Okolona Elementary School all had a hand in decorating the living cedar tree in front of the facility last week.
The idea behind the Christmas tree came from Shelia Goines, an instructor at the school, who decided to bring some Christmas joy to the students and the residents of the town.
“The tree was already here,” Goines said. “I wanted to bring some joy to Okolona Elementary students, and one way I know to bring joy is through a Christmas tree.”
Students in every class, kindergarten through sixth grade, made ornaments for the tree and delivered them to Goines and fellow teacher, Sheryl Denton, to hang on the tree.
“She’s my cohort in action,” Goines said of Denton who stood atop the ladder, placing each ornament individually among the branches.
Brightly colored triangles of popsicle sticks, beaded candy canes and painted wooden scenes all adorned the tree before the afternoon was finished.
Goines said the tree was strung with over 1,000 lights, and it will be lit every evening for viewing by residents in the town.
“At night, it will be colorful for the community to enjoy as well,” Goines said.
The project took about two weeks of planning and creation of ornaments and involved more than 360 students throughout the school.

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