Preschoolers celebrate Chinese New Year

« Austintown Neighbors


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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Family members of Early Childhood Learning Center students watched as preschoolers performed the Dance of the Dragon in celebration of the Chinese New Year Feb. 28.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Preschool students in Jennifer Hlasta's class performed the Dance of the Dragon Feb. 28 celebrating Chinese New Year.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Preschoolers ended the Dance of the Dragon using homemade confetti poppers Feb. 28 celebrating the Chinese New Year.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Preschoolers performed the Dance of the Dragon Feb. 28 to celebrate the Chinese New Year, ringing in the year of the Pig.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Preschoolers at the Early Childhood Learning Center in Austintown created a paper drago and streamers they used to perform the Dance of the Dragon for their family members Feb. 28.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Preschoolers at St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Learning Center celebrated the Chinese New Year on Feb. 28.

Teacher Jennifer Hlasta organized the event, which she has been coordinating for about four years.

“We don’t get to celebrate the new year here because students are gone for winter break, so we do this as a fun way to incorporate other cultures,” Hlasta said.

Students read “The Dancing Dragon” by Marcia Vaughan, using the book as a model for their performance.

To prepare Hlasta said she had students create themed decorations, including paper pandas, streamers and more.

Students also helped create a dragon, paper lanterns and confetti poppers to use during their performance.

During the event, students walked through the hallway while holding the dragon and lanterns, singing a song from “The Dancing Dragon.”

Family members watched as students performed the dance of the dragon, with is historically performed during the lantern festival on the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

At the end of their performance, students used their homemade confetti poppers.

“It is a lot of fun, the students like it and they don’t even notice they are learning something new,” Hlasta said.

She said the program helps the preschools in a range of developmental skills, including team work, fine motor skills and music and movement skills.

“When we do big projects like this students really love getting involved, and its very enriching for them,” Hlasta said.

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