Fox Meadow Middle/High School Celebrates Chinese New Year

February 18, 2019

Students at Fox Meadow Middle/High School celebrated Chinese New Year Friday with calligraphy, Kung Fu, Chinese paper folding and a host of other activities designed by faculty members to introduce students to Chinese culture.

In the fitness center, students were taught basic Kung Fu moves by Gunn Oracha of KO Arts by assuming the stance necessary and practicing punching the open hand of the instructor. In a session on New Year games, students practiced their manual dexterity by racing against each other to pick up sweets and other small items with chopsticks. Other activities included presentations on Chinese geography and cultural history and an exploration of Chinese legends of the New Year.
After rotating through seven activity stations, the students gathered in the cafeteria to feast on dumplings, lo mein noodles, egg rolls and almond cookies prepared by Fox Meadow culinary arts students under the direction of their teacher, Chef Maria Rosselli.

The celebration was part of a cultural exchange initiative by Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES aimed at creating opportunities for Chinese students to study in the United States, and for students in our region to learn more about Chinese culture and language. Last month, a group of 24 Chinese educators visited BOCES to see its career and technical education offerings, and another group will visit later this month to view professional development for teachers.

Given China’s position as the world’s second largest economy, District Superintendent Dr. James Ryan said he believes that it makes sense for students here to learn more about that nation’s culture and language. The celebration was designed to spark student interest and seems to have succeeded.

 “It was wonderful to see the combination of art and math and science and social studies and all the different conversations that went on today,” said Dr. Ryan. “I commend the faculty for putting this together. It really was wonderful experience for me, for the guests and for the students who participated.”

“I didn’t know that most Chinese people practice Confucianism and I enjoyed practicing Kung Fu,” said Victoria Morciglio, a sophomore from Middletown. “It makes me want to learn more about China.”

Joseph Becker, a freshman from the Lakeland Central School District, said “I liked the Kung Fu but it was challenging. I liked calligraphy more since it is writing and art at the same time. I am more artistic.”

Patrice Kemp, a sophomore from Peekskill City School District, said she enjoyed the break from the school’s usual routine and might be interested in studying the Chinese language.

Principal Nicole Ginexi said the celebration was in keeping with Fox Meadow’s focus on teaching students “to explore different cultures recognizing our differences and similarities…and to appreciate and respect diversity.”

Ginexi thanked BOCES administrators as well as administrators from Ossining, Mahopac and Yorktown who came to the Chinese New Year celebration.