At Nathan Adams Elementary School, the Year of the Monkey started off in a special way.
Monday, Feb. 8, marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. To tie in with lessons with its Explore China Enrichment Program, students at Adams were treated to a traditional lion dance performed by members of the J.K. Wong Kung Fu Tai Chi Academy. GrandMaster Jimmy Wong explained the dance, in which the lion is depicted as eating lettuce, going to sleep, getting excited and then “spitting” lettuce on members of the audience. Those rewarded with the flying leaves are said to have good luck coming to them – as the lettuce represents the green of money.
After the performance, students got the chance to try on smaller versions of the lion costume to dance as others played the drums and cymbals that create the soundtrack for the colorful lion. The final performance involved teachers putting on the lion costume and other teachers, along with Principal Dora Renaud, keeping the beat.
The Nathan Adams Explore China program was launched in Fall 2015, for preK-fifth grade. The weekly classes focus on language instruction, and add studies of the Chinese culture through projects and activities in an interactive learning environment. Projects range from making Chinese yo-yos and lion masks to learningthe lion dance and Kung Fu.