Coronado Elementary School celebration

Students at Coronado Elementary School celebrated Presidents Day and the Chinese New Year. [Courtesy Higley Unified School District]

Courtesy Higley Unified School District

Dancing dragons, presidential poems and Chinese songs came together Wednesday during Coronado’s ACE assembly, which recognized leadership and an increasing appreciation of other cultures.

Coronado’s assemblies focus on achievement, character and excellence and give students at chance to show what they’ve learned, as well as recognize leaders from the school and community.

In February, the assembly included members of the school’s Chinese Culture Club to demonstrate how Chinese New Year is celebrated, including songs and a ribbon dance.

“It helps our children recognize and appreciate other cultures and activities of all people from around the world,” said Principal Mai-Lon Wong. “Students can practice their leadership skills and develop poise in front of a crowd.”

It started with the fourth grade choir singing, “This is America,” and ended with second-grade students reading poems about presidents.

”I think it’s exciting. It’s one of the things the kids look forward to. Not only is it educational, but it’s fun,” said mom Monica Schaffer, one of dozens of parents who joined in Wednesday’s event. “My daughter has been talking about it all morning.”

Kindergartners sang songs they’ve learned during short Mandarin lessons they receive each week.

“It’s nice to be able to come out and see what they’re doing,” said mom Elizabeth Grella, who was there with her husband, Mat. Their son is in kindergarten and they’ve enrolled him in the Mandarin Immersion program starting next school year.

When the short assembly ended, Wong praised the students’ performances.

“This is an amazing school and we have amazing children. Thank you to all of you. We are so excited we can learn so much about other people in the world,” she said.

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