As part of T Galleria’s second annual Holiday Festival, 10 schools were given the chance to decorate a tree based on this year’s theme, “Christmas is beautiful in the CNMI.”
“The festival is a way to share the Christmas spirit and showcase the talent and creativity of the youth of our community…share it with our island visitors, who want to enjoy and experience Christmas on Saipan,” T Galleria promotions manager Jamika Reyes told Saipan Tribune.
T Galleria provided the materials used for decorating the trees.
NMIS made island-inspired ornaments using recycled materials. The decorations featured latte stones, coconut trees, seashells, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and fish, in addition to the traditional angels, stockings, and Christmas bells.
“We never told them what materials they could use but NMIS showed their creativity and originality by recycling. One ornament was made from egg shells and that for me is unique,” said Reyes.
“The outcome was 600 beautifully decorated ornaments displayed on 10 Christmas trees throughout the store. The ornaments from each school had been on display since Dec. 1 and we invited the general public to cast their votes for their favorite Christmas tree,” added Reyes.
Tourists cast their votes on which tree they think was the best that captured this year’s theme. Voting was done from Dec. 1 to 25 and the winner was announced last Monday.
“All entries were beautiful and the students showed their creativity but NMIS’ entry stood out and earned the most number of votes from the visitors after we tallied the ballots.”
NMIS bested nine other schools based on voting done by local and foreign tourists who visit T Galleria. NMIS beat San Vicente Elementary School by 10 votes, 207-197, to win the $500 top prize, while the latter went home with $400 and William S. Reyes Elementary School settled for the $300 third prize.
NMIS vice principal Jener Pineda, in a brief interview with Saipan Tribune, said that winning the grand prize is another blessing for the school.
“This is the product of the cooperation by the students, faculty, administration, and parents at NMIS. We’re happy that we won another contest after a challenging year not only for us but the entire community after Typhoon Soudelor,” said Pineda.
He added that it was NMIS’ first time to join the T Galleria contest.
Brilliant Star Montessori School, Golden Harvest Elementary School, Grace Christian Academy, Koblerville Elementary School, Mt. Carmel School, Saipan Community School, and Saipan International School were the other participants and each received $100.