Redwood Elementary celebrates AAPI Month with Cherry Blossom Festival

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — Redwood Elementary School celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Month on May 25 with a Cherry Blossom Festival.

“This year, to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month at Redwood Elementary School, we engaged in a day filled with activities by traveling through various Asian countries and Pacific islands for our Cherry Blossom Festival,” Principal Kimya Jackson said.

During the month of May, the Redwood Diversity, Equity and Access Committee assigned each class to an AAPI country. Each class researched their country and created a slide on it for a schoolwide presentation and decorated their classroom doors with cherry blossom trees.

In addition to a schoolwide assembly in the morning, classes collected stamps for their “passports” as they learned about AAPI countries. At 2 p.m., the school community gathered in the hallways to sing the Japanese song “Sakura” and were surprised by the Chinese dragon dance, led by teacher Nancy Hopkins and several fifth-graders.

Other month-long activities included gyotaku Japanese fish printing with art teacher Melanie Racanelli; haiku writing and tangram art with math and science teacher Joy Burnett; origami with speech therapists Lynn Oliver and Kim Fields-Murphy, and a third-grade parent; cherry blossom writing with kindergarten teacher Miriam Kargbo-Jackson; research with teachers Danielle Secola and Marianne VanCauwenberge; and more.

Photos Courtesy of WOSD