North Barrington Elementary School celebrates Chinese New Year

North Barrington Elementary School students enjoyed a Chinese New Year celebration Friday that included a talent show.

It was a fitting celebration because North Barrington Elementary is one of the schools in Barrington Area Unit District 220 with a Chinese language immersion program - one of the few in the Chicago area.

North Barrington Elementary students celebrated at Friday's all-school assembly, followed by a program for parents and family in the evening.

Even before Friday, the school was marking the occasion. Third-graders, for example, have engaged in activities including making Chinese paper fans, cooking traditional Chinese food, a chopstick competition and a photo booth with a Chinese dragon for a backdrop.

In 2012, the District 220 school board approved retaining the Chinese language immersion program after it lost its federal grant. A Chinese diplomat visited students in the program in November and said he was impressed with students' command of his native language.

About 320 students are in the Chinese immersion program at three buildings from kindergarten through seventh grade.

  North Barrington Elementary School students wave along with a performance Friday during a Chinese New Year talent show at the school. Third grade students put on a show for fellow students in the afternoon, followed by a program for parents and family in the evening. Paul Valade/
  Third grade students at North Barrington Elementary School sing during Friday's talent show. Students at the school celebrated Chinese New Year and performed for fellow classmates. Paul Valade/
  North Barrington Elementary School third grade student Aaron Castic gives a martial arts demonstration Friday during a talent show at the school. Paul Valade/
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