11/23/10 State Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) invites area students to join this year’s holiday tree-trimming festivities at the Statehouse – either in person or by mail.

“As part of state government’s celebration of the holidays, a very large coniferous tree will soon be placed in the rotunda of the Statehouse,” Charbonneau said. “Students can help bring the holiday tree to life by transforming their favorite seasonal memories into ornamental storybooks and visiting our state’s capitol to help trim the tree.”

First Lady Cheri Daniels is spearheading the student decoration drive, “Holiday Tales from the Heart,” Charbonneau said.

Charbonneau is joining Daniels in promoting creativity and literacy by encouraging Hoosier students of all ages to create decorations and by writing about their favorite “Christmas memories” in tiny handcrafted books.

Submitted storybook ornaments will be hung on the Statehouse tree at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Selected stories will be featured on Daniels’ website at www.in.gov/gov/firstlady.

“I hope schools in our area participate in this fun project combining art with writing,” Charbonneau said.

Charbonneau said certain guidelines should be followed when constructing books:

  • Decorations should be no larger than 8 inches square;
  • Decorations may contain short stories of up to 300 words;
  • Decorations should be made out of non-breakable or non-perishable materials like construction paper, poster board, pipe cleaners, wood, yarn and photographs;
  • Decorations should have hooks or fasteners attached; and
  • Decorations should be labeled with names of students and their schools.

“The majestic Statehouse and this enormous, donated pine provide our art teachers an historic opportunity to display both the talent of their students and their spirit of the season,” Charbonneau said. “Because of the size of our Statehouse tree, thousands of ornaments are needed by the Statehouse Tour Office to fill its branches during the Dec. 14 trimming celebration.”

Mail or deliver decorations to the Statehouse Tour Office located at 200 W. Washington St., Room 220, Indianapolis, IN, 46204. Please keep in mind storybook ornaments will not be returned.

Students and faculty are invited to join the Dec. 14 festivities that will include a visit from the First Lady, special holiday music and a book collection hosted by the Indianapolis Colts.

Educators may call 317-233-5293 to participate.

“Hopefully, local young people can help trim the Statehouse tree with their fondest memories,” Charbonneau said. “I look forward to this joyous season and seeing this beautiful tree showcasing the artistic creativity and writing skills of our Hoosier students.”

Senator Charbonneau represents Senate District 5, which includes Starke County and portions of Porter, LaPorte, Marshall, Jasper, Pulaski and St. Joseph counties.