This story is airing today on KPCC Radio:
A San Gabriel Valley school district is turning third-generation Chinese American middle school students into cultural ambassadors during the Chinese New Year. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has more.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Chinese culture is teacher Corrina Shih’s main subject at the Rowland Unified School District. Her students are mostly assimilated Chinese Americans who are largely disconnected from the culture of their parents and grandparents. She says the seventh- and eighth-graders had a lot of questions about this week’s Lunar New Year celebrations.
Corrina Shih: Why people do fireworks during Chinese New Year and also talk about clothing, why Chinese people like to wear new clothes during the Chinese New Year, and also lion and dragon dances.
Guzman-Lopez: Shih directed her students to turn their questions into research projects. They paid a visit to a massive Buddhist temple complex in Hacienda Heights. They’ll also take their display boards to a nearby elementary school to share their knowledge with younger students.
This is the second year Rowland Unified’s received a federal grant to offer Chinese and Korean culture classes.