In China, the Moon Festival is one of the oldest and most important holidays of the year, a time when family and friends celebrate the autumn harvest together. Students from Barnard, a Mandarin immersion magnet school in Pacific Beach, showcased their Chinese cultural talents to thousands of people on September 23 at the 2017 Moon Festival in Balboa Park. Third through fifth graders performed a traditional Tibetan dance in bright colorful costumes. First through third graders demonstrated their skills with the ancient Chinese calculator known as the abacus.
This year’s event mixed international extravagance with local flavor. Hosted by the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and the House of China, the event featured performances and demonstrations from China’s Xiamen University and Shenmo Institute, as well as our very own Barnard Elementary School, Pacific Beach Middle School, and Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society.
“It is humbling to see how well these young students can learn and perform the ancient Chinese arts,” said Jing Sandra Zhang, a Confucius Institute guest teacher who co-teaches a third grade Mandarin class at Barnard. She also helped choreograph the Tibetan dance. “It is as if the Chinese heritage has been ingrained in their blood over the few years that they have been immersed in the language and the culture.”
In addition to learning the Mandarin language, Barnard students receive instruction in a variety of ancient Chinese arts, including dance, abacus, calligraphy, music, and more. This provides the well-rounded and holistic education that makes the program truly immersive.
For more information on Barnard Elementary School or to apply to the District’s School Choice program (November 13 deadline), visit www.SanDiegoUnified.org/barnard.
For more information on the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, visit confucius.sdsu.edu.