Plymouth Elementary School in Monrovia offers a wonderful dual immersion program in Mandarin and English. This Lunar New Year, our junior journalists, Yilin and Phoebe, visit Plymouth and attended its Chinese New Year Family Night last week. They also talked with Ms. Connie Wu, Assistant Superintendent, to learn more about this unique program that benefits families who are learning Mandarin.
The Family Celebration Night took place on Friday, February 8, 2019, at the Plymouth Elementary School. It included performances from several classes in the school ranging from the afterschool program to TK through third grade. The celebration connects Chinese culture to American culture, and over 150 guests enjoyed a wonderful time.
In its fourth year, the Plymouth Elementary Mandarin Dual Immersion program is a 50% & 50% which teaches the students both English and Chinese during school time. What is interesting about this program is that the Mandarin courses are taught not only by Chinese teachers, but a lot of American teachers! The Monrovia school district fully supports this new way of teaching as it allows the student and teacher to get to know other interesting things other than just American culture.
Click here to learn more about Plymouth Elementary and their special program: https://plymouth.monroviaschools.net/
A Time of Celebration
by junior journalist Yilin Yao
On February 8, 2019, we were invited to attend Plymouth Elementary School’s special event that was celebrating Chinese New Year. The school has both English and Chinese classes, and they offer 50% instruction that is provided in English and 50% instruction that is provided in Chinese. It was also quite exciting to witness elementary-aged children performing in beautiful and festive costumes. The students showcased many different types of entertainment like singing, dancing, and even acted out a play. I was impressed by how well they could memorize the different dance routines as well as remember all the words to the song, all while being so synchronized.
One of my favorite performances was when the children stole the stage with their play that showed the importance of being caring towards others. The play began with hungry and thirsty pigs traveling through the dry desert. As they were traveling, the monkey kings watched over them. As nighttime approached, the pigs were exhausted and soon were fast asleep. During the middle of the night, one curious pig woke up and decided to wander around. He stumbled across one of the biggest, greenest and roundest watermelons he had ever seen! He thought about how to cut the watermelon into equal pieces to share between himself and the monkey kings. He figured he’d cut the watermelon into four equal pieces to give to each of the three monkey kings while saving the last one for himself. Soon after, he bit into his own piece of the sweet and tasty melon. It was so good that before he knew it, he had eaten the whole melon. As he walked back to his group, he heard a voice coming from the sky. The pig quickly threw the watermelon peels as far as he could before the monkey king spoke again. The monkey king had warned him to quickly return to his group for they would be waking up soon to travel further into the desert. When he returned, he curled up next to his friends and was fast asleep as if he had never left. A few hours later, he and the group began traveling again. It was only a matter of time before he slipped on a watermelon peel. Then, another slip that was followed by the next slip and finally the last slip. The little pig recognized that it was the watermelon peels he had tried so hard to get rid of. Every pig began laughing at him and he felt quite embarrassed. He soon learned that this was his punishment for not caring about his friends and the monkey kings.
The more I thought about the show, I had come to appreciate the amount of hard work, effort, and time these children and their teachers had put in. The whole event felt just like a big family gathering and was such a positive experience. It was a pleasure to be able to talk with the children, parents, and the principal. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience just as much as I loved watching it.
by junior journalist Phoebe Zhang (age 9)
On February 8th, Plymouth Elementary School in Monrovia always celebrate Chinese New Year. It is called ” Chinese New Year family night.” The Chinese New Year family night is hosted by the school’s PTA. In the family night, there is a performance that represents the theme ( Chinese New Year). There Are dances, songs, and acting the performance. Plymouth Elementary School has a Mandarin dual immersion program. A the program in the school helps students in the school we’re having trouble with Mandarin. It also helps students in the school learn how to speak, communicate, and write in Mandarin. The program teaches students how to communicate in Mandarin because in the future you might need to speak Mandarin. Half of the teaching is done in English and half in Mandarin. Of the 2019 family night, the first performance was students dancing and singing to the song ” Gong Xi”. The next performance was students dressed up as Little Pigs because this year’s animal zodiac sign is the pig. The performers sing and danced. The third performance was students dressed up in a white Tshirt, bandana around their neck, and sunglasses. Some people were wearing a denim jacket. They sing and danced to ” The Three Little Pigs”. The final performance was students acting. When I walked in the school, I was shocked because there were so many people. I sat in the front of the audience and watch the kids perform. About 20 minutes later, the performance was finally over. There were four performances in total. Three hours pass by, and I finally got to go home.