This week students on both Ross School campuses came together in celebration of Chinese New Year and the dawning of the Year of the Dog.
A highlight of the day’s festivities was the presence of 34 students from the Upper School’s English for Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL) program, who visited the Lower School to share in a cultural exchange. The older students led their younger counterparts in workshops about games and crafts with Chinese origins. The workshops included topics like calligraphy, creative paper cutting, origami, the game Cat’s Cradle, and fireworks painting.
As a testament to the breadth of Ross’s global campus community, the older students on hand were from numerous countries that included Kyrgyzstan, Brazil, Germany, China, and Korea. Each enjoyed the opportunity to learn about a new culture and to practice their English skills with native speakers.
“This is a new year celebration, but we also consider it to be a celebration of diversity,” said Mami Takeda, ESOL coordinator.
At the campuswide assembly, Lower School students from every grade level prepared a performance. The event started with a dragon parade led by members of the kindergarten, first, second, and fourth grade classes. Other performances included a dance and renditions of folk and contemporary Chinese songs. The event closed with an interactive group dance, offering an upbeat end to the morning.
During a themed lunch, 10th grade student Run Y. ’20 made fast friends by sitting with Max C. ’27, who he described as a little brother to him. This year was Run’s second visiting the Lower Campus for Lunar New Year, and he said he receives as much from participating in the experience as the younger students, in particular, the chance to meet new people and test his English-speaking skills. “The children are cute,” Run said, “and I love sharing things from my culture.”
Earlier in the month, pre-kindergarten and fourth grade students began their celebration of Lunar New Year by visiting the Upper School campus to perform a Chinese lantern ceremony.