Barnard Students Say “Ni hao” to the Year of the Dog

Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School welcomed the Year of the Dog in grand fashion. The festivities began the week of February 5 with traditional Chinese lion dancers, a beloved ritual at Barnard that never loses its magic. On February 9, students from each classroom staged elaborate cultural performances that highlighted a variety of Chinese arts, including poetry, martial arts, and dance. The show drew rave reviews from parents, district officials, and the school’s long-time Mandarin education partners at the Confucius Institute at SDSU.

More excitement was in store on February 10, when Barnard held its annual free, community-wide Chinese New Year celebration at the school. Festival attendees enjoyed food, hours of entertainment, and fun games throughout the day.

“I am so proud and grateful to be a Barnard parent,” said Deval Zaveri, who has two students enrolled at the school. “No one in my family spoke Mandarin or knew anything about the culture until my daughter enrolled at the school. Barnard has enriched our lives and broadened our worldview; I now can’t imagine our lives without this rich culture infused into it.”

Chinese tradition stipulates that New Year celebrations last 23 days, so the fun is far from over. Next up is the Downtown Chinese New Year Festival on February 24 and 25, where Barnard’s recitation and dance troupes will take to the main stage each day. Barnard will also be represented by its own student ambassadors at a nearby booth. Stop by to learn more about the school and to speak (in Mandarin, of course) with the people who know it best: the students. Until then… Xīn nián kuài lè!

For more information on Barnard Elementary School or to find out about the District’s School Choice program, visit