• Happy lunar new year!

    East-West celebrated Lunar New Year with activities on February 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

    February 1st- Gallery walk by Japanese language classes to view Lunar New Year projects on display by Korean and Chinese classes.

    February 2nd- Students in Chinese and Korean language classes gave presentations on the Lunar New Year. Students from each of those languages, as well as Japanese language students, rotated between the Chinese and Korean presentations. There were trivia quizzes with traditional dumplings and rice cake soup served as prizes for trivia answers.

    February 3rd- Each Chinese and Korean language class hosted its own celebration during class time.

    On the second day of celebrations, we were fortunate to have members of the community and the press join us: Vivian Warfield, Alfred Rankins, Dennis So, World Journal, Korea Times, and Sino Television.

    For our Chinese readers, check out the article about us in the World Journal!

    For more pictures, visit our Picasa photo album:

    Mr. Bantz demonstrates how to use chopsticks
    Ms. Chen
    Students eagerly wait in line to sample Chinese dumplings
    Ms. Kim and Jungja Hong
    Ms. Jungja Hong teaches brush painting
    Chinese class
    And more dumplings!
  • The show's Tony Award winning creative team has created the unlikeliest of hit musicals about the unlikeliest of heroes: a quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time.

    This Wednesday, February 9th will be the final round of Auditions for this year's school play. They will be held in the Auditorium from 3-5pm.

    Ms. Hartong will be directing a musical comedy called "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." It will be performed in late May. Students, this is your last chance to try out!

    The play is open to ALL East-West students 6-12, no experience necessary. Students must be prepared to stay for the whole audition. Students who are interested in assisting backstage MUST also come to the auditions.

    High school students are especially encouraged to participate.


    Performances are May 25th and 26th at 7 pm.

    What to bring:

    - A snack
    - Something to write with
    - Comfortable clothes
    - A prepared song (even Happy Birthday is fine!)

    Any questions, please email Ms. Hartong at


  • We had a great round of Morning Musters last week. To summarize:

    Wednesday: Ms. Chang and several Chinese language students spoke to the school about the history and traditions behind Lunar New Year. We had a fantastic three-day celebration of Lunar New Year, so stay tuned to the blog for an update with plenty of photos.

    Thursday: An East-West dance team performed for the whole school! The auditorium was packed with people spilling out of the entrances.

    Friday: I gave a presentation about AmeriCorps, the national service program that I spoke about in my introduction post. There is now an AmeriCorps resources page on the East-West website. You can also find more information at .

  • The Year of the Rabbit
    February 3, 2011

    On February 3, many people throughout the world will celebrate the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rabbit. The Lunar New Year is celebrated as a public holiday in a number of countries and territories including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, and Vietnam. Students in many of these countries and regions enjoy their winter break at this time as they celebrate the festival.

    Xin Nian Kuai Le!” In the Chinese speaking regions, it is customary for adults to give children a red envelope with money. The red envelopes have many sayings such as, "Blooming flowers bring good fortune," and "Your wish will come true." One particularly popular saying for children is, "May you have great academic performance!"

    The New Year's greeting in Korean is, “Se-hae-bok-mahn-ee-baht-eu-se-yo!” It means, “May you receive abundant New Year’s blessings.” In Korea, family members dress in traditional Korean costume, “hanbok”, on New Year’s Day and greet their elders with “se-bae” (a formal bow of respect). From young to old, they wish each other many blessings, health and long life.

    In the United States, many local activities take place across the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year. These activities include cultural festivals, parades, firework displays, tea ceremonies and performances. Many schools with Asian populations in New York hold celebratory activities.

    Here are some tips for the traditional dos and don'ts:

    * Do pay all your debts before the New Year.

    * Do wear new clothes in bright colors, especially red.

    * Do clean the entire house before New Year's Day.

    * Don't sweep for three days.

    * Don't use knives and scissors.

    * Don't cry.


    NYC Lunar New Year parade information:

    Chinatown: 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Sunday, February 6, Canal Street South

    Flushing: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Saturday, February 12, Union Street and 39th Ave


    Information courtesy of  the Asian Languages BETAC at NYU Metro Center

  • Sounds of Korea

    East-West is looking for trip chaperones for our field trips. This is a volunteer position. Recently, the required ratio of students to adults changed from ten students per adult to six to one. We are short-staffed and in great need of community volunteers for our scheduled field trips.

    Volunteers must be available during school hours, 9 am to 3 pm, and be willing to accompany primarily high school students. After passing the screening process, you would be placed on an "on-call list" and informed of chaperone opportunities as they come up.

    Please contact our trip coordinator, Ms. Hartong, if you are a community member who would like to volunteer. Her email address is .

    We have an urgent need for volunteers this upcoming Monday 1/31 for a 6th grade field trip to see the "Sounds of Korea" performance at the Flushing Town Hall at 9 am. Contact Ms. Hartong right away if you are interested.