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Vestal and Union-Endicott High Schools Celebrate the Chinese New Year

By Emily Girsch.
The Chinese New Year officially begins on February 8th, but celebrations were underway at Vestal High School tonight.

2016 is the "Year of the Monkey" and Vestal and Union-Endicott High Schools teamed up to commemorate the Chinese culture and language.

"I think it's a special event just because it's very unique when we have two high schools that are across the river collaborating together," said assistant principal Clifford Kasson.

Chinese language teacher Kelly Zhang brought the annual festival to Vestal in 2009 as a way to celebrate the students' hard work in learning a tough language.

"Mandarin in a global economy is not mandatory but it certainly gives you a leg up and it will certainly open up a lot of doors that other students in the job market might not have available to them," said former member of the Vestal Board of Education, Kim Myers.

Entertainment included Chinese song, dance, student presentations and traditional Chinese food.

The event also included a fundraiser for the "Half the Sky" foundation which benefits Chinese orphans.