MONROVIA – Red and gold lights and decorations filled Plymouth Elementary’s cafeteria as students, dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, captivated families and friends with songs, dances, and skits during a Lunar Near Year Family Night Celebration on Feb. 8.

Parents, siblings, and grandparents flooded Plymouth’s cafeteria to experience the school-wide cultural celebration that featured food, music, and art.

“To celebrate Year of the Pig, we performed the song ‘Three Little Piggie Blues’ to African-American Jazz Music,” said second-grader Anaiah Humphries. “It was interesting to learn the history of the song and perform for everyone.”

The event also highlighted the school’s Mandarin Dual Immersion program, which featured performances from dual-immersion classes, as well as English-only classes.

Performances included Village After-School program students who performed “Gong Xi,” which means congratulations; students from English-only TK and second-grade classes performed “Three Little Piggie Blues” in celebration of the Year of the Pig; TK-K dual-immersion students performed “Happy Child Loves to Sing,” and “Song on 12 Zodiacs,” and students from second- and third-grade dual-immersion classes performed a skit based on the Chinese classic novel “Journey to the West.”

“Our performance taught me the importance of sharing with others,” said third-grader Isla Terrill, a dual-immersion student. “It was fun to go on stage with my friends and share with everyone what we have learned about Chinese culture.”

The PTA-sponsored event brought the school community together, giving families an opportunity to be a part of their students’ school experience.

“Events like Lunar New Year Family Night are vitally important for the dual immersion program and our entire school community,” Plymouth Principal Dr. Gero said. “The performances provide our students with valuable opportunities to showcase their learning through the arts, while bringing families and our community together in celebration.”

After the performances, students and families constructed paper lanterns, crafted fire-breathing dragons out of paper cups, streamers and pompoms, and designed a Lunar New Year calendar. Complimentary tea, hot chocolate, and oranges – which are considered to be good fortune for the new year – were served.

“We are pleased to be able to offer such a rich dual immersion language program,” MUSD Board President Ed Gililland said. “The experiences and the linguistic skills provided to these young students will provide a firm basis for their future education and help prepare them for life in our changing world.”

For four years now, Plymouth Elementary has offered Mandarin Dual Immersion as a way to provide a rich linguistic and cultural experience for students. This ensures students are prepared to achieve success in an increasingly global society.

“Students who are in our Mandarin Dual Immersion program are gaining a multicultural educational experience, which is necessary in today’s world,” MUSD Superintendent Katherine Thorossian said. “Through our dual language immersion programs, we are preparing our students for the vast opportunities that will be available to them in their professional careers.”


2-8-19_MUSD_Lunar 1: In celebration of the Year of the Pig, students from TK-K classes dressed in pink for their performances of “Happy Child Loves to Sing,” and “Song on 12 Zodiacs,” during Plymouth Elementary’s Lunar New Year Family Night on Feb. 8.

2-8-19_MUSD_Lunar 2: Students from TK-K classes crafted a fire-breathing dragon from paper plates to serve as an art display during the Lunar New Year Family Night celebration on Feb. 8 at Plymouth Elementary.

2-8-19_MUSD_Lunar 3: Third-grader Isla Terrill shows off her mask, which was used as a prop during the play performance of “Journey to the West” on Feb. 8 at Plymouth Elementary’s celebration of Lunar New Year.