polo outlet birmingham al Flushing YMCA kids celebrate Lunar New Year
The halls of the Flushing YMCA were alive on Friday morning with blurs of color and the beating of drums as students of the Early Childhood Center marched through the building on wishing “Gung Hay Fat Choy” to all. The cause for celebration was Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, which happened to fall on Valentine’s Day this year.
“We do this every year because we have Lunar New Year and they love it. We ask the kids to wear their traditional clothing if they want,” said Hae Ran Song, Universal Pre K (UPK)/Early Childhood Director. “We’re celebrating this holiday as a whole school, not just for the Asian kids.”
The children, who are ages 2.9 to 6, are encouraged to celebrate other cultural or religious holidays such as Cinco de Mayo and Id. Right after the indoor Lunar New Year parade, the festivities continued with a Valentine’s Day party.
“It’s like social studies for them. We’re serving a mixed group so we want them to appreciate different cultures. They’re building their own learning community,” said Song.
She emphasized the importance of making learning enjoyable for the kids because at such a young age, they can’t sit still for more than five minutes.
“It’s not only about assessment; it’s not only about whether they know their ABCs and can count to 100,
” she said. “They need to have fun.”
Each of the four classrooms is equipped with nearly a dozen learning centers, including a housekeeping area, a computer center, a dramatic play area, and a listening center.
Song said that parents really like the program, which employs an open door policy so they can come and visit anytime.
“It makes the transition from home to school easier,” said Song. “If children see their parents are not welcome here, they feel uncomfortable.”
Seventy two of the roughly 90 kids in the Early Childhood Center are enrolled in the UPK program, a free half day, year long program that prepares the youngsters for kindergarten.
“Half of them came in their strollers in September, but now they’ve developed throughout the year, physically and emotionally,
” said Song. “I want them to grow infinitely.”