Kelly Springs Elementary celebrates Chinese New Year

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - This weekend, more than a billion people in China will ring-in the Chinese New Year.

Students at Kelly Springs Elementary took in a traditional dragon dance to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Before that happens, hundreds of students at Kelly Springs Elementary took part in their own festivities.

The students saw a traditional dragon dance performed by some resident scholars with Troy University.

They also heard from a traditional Chinese band.

And some of these students have taken their appreciation for the Chinese culture to a new level.

"I learned that they have two different New Years and we only have, like, one,” said Kelly Springs Elementary Student Zoha Danish.

Zoha Danish got to have a second new year's celebration this month.

This time, it was for the lunar calendar observed in China.

"According to the Lunar Calendar, the date each year is changed,” said Troy University Resident Scholar Jiang Na.

January 25th, 2020 will be the start of the year of the rat.

Part of the curriculum at Kelly Springs Elementary focuses on showing students cultures from around the world, specifically china.

A family of musicians from the Anhui Province in China played celebratory New Year’s music for the students.

Zoha heard the music and watched the dragon dance, but her education in Chinese culture doesn't end there.

"When I started coming to Kelly Springs, I learned Spanish and Chinese,” said Danish.

Zoha also knows Arabic and Urdu.

When you add English in there, she can already speak five languages.

A skill that Resident Scholar Jiang Na, originally from China, says will be helpful.

"If you can know the language from other countries, you will know how to solve problems, how to get along with them,” said Na.

Na spends time teaching Chinese language and culture to the students a few times a week.

That is, when she's not in the middle of a dragon dance.

Kelly Springs Elementary has students as young as 2nd grade passing Chinese language proficiency exams.