Lion dance stirs up high energy! - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Lion dance stirs up high energy!

Posted on February 7, 2008

by Dr. Edna Hussey on February 7, 2008

Gongs! Cymbals! Drums! Together, the clash, boom, and clang of these instruments created boisterous music for the trio of lions that danced onto our campus!  Gung Hee Fat Choy!

There should be animated discussion at the dinner table tonight as your children share the highlight of the day— the traditional lion dance to bring good luck during Chinese New Year.  This tradition goes back over a thousand years in China, and the lions’ dance expresses joy and happiness. Performers from Gung Yee International delighted the children as they maneuvered about the campus with graceful, animal-like movements synchronized to the rhythmic beats of the instruments.  Imagine the children surrounding each lion, bravely offering a red envelope or attempting to touch the lion’s head. Several preschoolers were able to get fairly close to the “baby” lion because it mostly lay prone so that the children were gently encouraged to approach it. A few children and I coaxed the lions to “eat” a head of lettuce and red envelope (lay see) attached to a long bamboo branch.

A few classes continued their cultural learning in the classroom, where volunteer parents organized activities such as calligraphy, making a dragon’s head, or sampling Chinese delicacies like gau, sweet pretzels, and coconut candy. Many thanks to parent Dr. Theresa Kuo for helping to organize the school event. This was certainly a high-energy day!

One of the enclosures in today’s Thursday packet is a letter of invitation to parents to participate on one of the accreditation committees for MPI’s self-study. We will be preparing an in-depth analysis of our work as a school, from governance and philosophy to curricular program and facilities.  MPI is currently accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS). We are nearing the end of our seven-year term of accreditation, so the next group of evaluators will be visiting MPI in Spring 2009.  

The primary purpose of the visiting team is to determine how well MPI has been implementing its mission and following through on the school’s improvement plan and recommendations made by the last visiting team in 2003. If you have the time and interest, consider signing up for a committee, which will include representation from other constituent groups (e.g., faculty, alumni, Board) making up our school community. The letter from MPI’s accreditation coordinator Bob McIntosh provides detailed information.  Depending on the group’s area of responsibility, committee participation will include some reading, data analysis, at least three meetings, some writing, and lots of critical thinking.  We will be asking all parents to complete surveys to gather your feedback on various aspects of the school. 

Information about Spring Camp was sent in last week's packet. Please note this correction: March 17-20 and March 24-28. 

Reminder:  A video of the opera production Kahalaopuna will be shown on Monday, February 11, 6:00-7:30pm, in the music room (Wilcox Building) so that you can better understand the expectations for the production.  

Reserve a family day or evening sometime the week of February 18-23 to enjoy our visual arts display at Kahala Mall featuring our students’ self-portraits.  

You are welcome to attend our annual Jump Rope for Heart event for the American Heart Association on Friday, February 15.  The preschool event is 8:30-9:30am on the playcourt, and the kindergarten through grade 5 event is 12:30-2:00pm in the gym. We would like to see 100% student participation.  The children have learned about the heart and how to keep it healthy through exercise and a nutritious diet.  You’ll be amazed by the creative routines and jump rope tricks they’ve learned in p.e. And don’t forget to don your athletic shoes. You’ll experience an irresistible urge to jump rope with the children! Remember, just ten minutes of rope jumping is equivalent to burning calories in a half hour of running! Many thanks to all who have made donations to the American Heart Association and/or have provided healthy snacks for the event.  

I will not be in school on Monday and Tuesday because I will be chairing an accreditation team visit to Kamehameha Elementary School.

Three last reminders: 1) If your child has a temperature, your child should only return to school if fever-free 24 hours without medication. 2) Please do not send your child to school with flu-like symptoms. 3) Please drive slowly and with caution when entering the elementary campus.  I’m alarmed by the driving speed, especially in the morning when parents and children are walking from their cars to the building.

Gung Hee Fat Choy again! Abundant best wishes for a healthy year in mind, body, and spirit!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey