by Kimbelry McCurnin
On Wednesday, February 18th, Jaida’s mom, Leanne, came in to lead the African Wild Dogs in a Celebration of Chinese New Year! We began with a wonderful PowerPoint Slideshow full of interesting facts and pictures where we learned the customs, traditions, and legends regarding Chinese New Year! Did you know that according to legend, Chinese New Year began as a way to scare off the evil demon, Nian? Citizens of China used whatever they could to create bright lights and loud noises to frighten Nian and keep him up in the mountains and away from their villages, which is why fireworks are so popular during this holiday!
Next, we learned that it is now the Year of the Sheep, and we then spent a few moments calculating the Animals of our Birth Years:
- • Jan 29, 2006 – Feb 17, 2007: Year of the Dog
- • Feb 18, 2007 – Feb 6, 2008: Year of the Pig
- • Feb 7, 2008 – Jan 25, 2009: Year of the Rat
After we learned about Chinese New Year traditions, we then went off to our tables to transform old scrapbook paper into beautiful lanterns to keep away evil Nian!
Finally, we shared a traditional Chinese New Year citrus snack followed by a kind gift from Jaida and Leanne of a beautiful red envelope! Red envelopes (which are sometimes filled with money) are a customary gift that is given on this Holiday. Red represents good wishes for a lucky and Happy New Year!
Thanks again to Jaida and Leanne for making this such a wonderful opportunity for cultural awareness and appreciation!
Happy Chinese New Year!
The African Wild Dogs
About the Author
Kimbelry McCurnin is the lead 1/2 Grade Teacher at Unity Charter School. She graduated with high honors from Boston University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She began her teaching career here at Unity working alongside Jennifer Carcich as her teacher’s assistant from 2011-2012. Kimberly is thrilled to rejoin this special, close-knit commUnity and honored to be part of such a talented, passionate staff. In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys attending yoga classes and taking advantage of the wonderful culture and arts that New York City has to offer.