Students Say: Gung Hay Fat Choy

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The Year of the Dragon was off to an auspicious start for third-grade students at John F. Kennedy Intermediate School, as they celebrated the Chinese New Year in authentic fashion. After studying the geography, economy and culture of China, students were ready to take part in one of this country’s most famous customs. Students gathered together to read about the origin of Chinese New Year celebrations such as dragon parades, fireworks and feasts. Teacher Helene Cotter provided each student with a red envelope containing play money, a traditional Chinese custom that is said to bring good luck in the New Year.  At the conclusion of their celebration students enjoyed a feast of Chinese food.

This was the second leg of a yearlong virtual trip through the seven continents using the district’s distance learning technology. It has become a memorable way for students to complete the third-grade social studies curriculum.

“At the beginning of the year students made paper suitcases to take on their travels,” explained Ms. Cotter. “We began in North America, by studying the U.S.A. As they complete each leg of the journey, students will be using their suitcases to gather information and mementos to remind them of all that they have learned.”