PPG Newsletter Issue No. 21

PPG Community Events Update

By Dr. Jessica Xu

PPG is seeking a parent volunteer with experience and leadership skills to join its 2017 executive team as its VP of Annual Meeting.  If interested, please email info@pusdparents.org.   Active parent volunteers are critical to the continuing success of PPG.

Happy Year of the Rooster to all in PUSD who celebrate Lunar New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!  PPG is organizing the second annual Lunar New Year Awareness Week across the district.  The event was a great success last year.  PPG expects more schools and parents to participate this year.  Stay tuned for a photo gallery of the celebration.

For its third annual Keep Myopia Away student health campaign, PPG will co-host with Champions for Health a joint Well Live San Diego forum on Keep Myopia Away in Digital Age.  The seminar will be 7-9 pm Saturday, April 22, 2017.  More information will be available soon.  Save the date! 

Thank you to everyone who came out to PPG’s Preventing Internet Addiction in Digital Age forum on January 7, 2017 to learn more about the warning signs internet addiction and how to break the cycle. Many thanks to Champions for Health for co-organizing this important event and speaker Dustin Wagner, Director of Point Dume program at Paradigm Malibu, for providing an excellent presentation on behalf of Dr. Jeff Nalin.  Also special thanks to Grace School for providing free event venue, and ZCode Media, RPTC, RBCC and GVCA for co-promoting the event. For photos of the forum, visit PPG Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PUSDParentsGroup/ .

All these activities would not be possible without proper financial support. PPG relies 100% on monetary donations from parents and corporates to support our community events and basic operation.  Huge thanks to all generous sponsors who support PPG financially.  To make a donation, please mail a check payable to “PUSD Parents Group” to PUSD Parents Group, 16450 Via Esprillo, San Diego, CA 92127.  You can also donate online through PayPal at http://pusdparents.org/donations/ .  Thank you for your generosity in supporting our community.

Safe and Creative Personalized Education (XIII)

A Multicultural Holiday Season

By Skyler Wu

The months of November through February are my favorite times of the year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year all contribute to the holiday cheer, but perhaps more importantly for students, provide us with much needed weeks of vacation. However, the United States is a melting pot of all different cultures and ethnicities. What about the other holidays not providing us with days of vacation such as the Lunar New Year, Hanukah, Holi, Ramadan, and countless others?

For the first four years of my life, I lived in China, completely oblivious to the existence of Santa Claus or St. Patrick. What I was exposed to was red pockets, moon cakes, and rice dumplings—staples of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Moon Festival, and Dragon Boat Festival. When I was five, I came to the United States, and learned about Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and other Western holidays. I was particularly interested in Christmas and Santa Claus, as my preschool teacher had told our class that “Santa Claus is this old man in a flying sleigh who gives free toys to good boys and girls each year in December.” Needless to say, my five-year-old brain completely embraced that idea wholeheartedly—free toys, and a flying sleigh? I’m all in.

As I matured through elementary school, some of my peers began to make fun of Asians and Eastern holidays as a whole, with insults like, “Do you guys only eat rice during your weird celebrations” and related, stereotypical derogations that seemed slanderous, yet true, to my impressionable grade-school mind. Slowly, I began to adopt the mindset that the Chinese Lunar New Year that I celebrated, and the Moon Festival during which I had gorged so many moon cakes just a few years back were completely outdated and not “cool,” for a lack of better words. Day by day, I began to jettison the customs that I’d grown up being immersed in, and solely embrace Western culture—the pink rabbits of Easter, the portly Santa Claus of Christmas, and the green leprechaun of St. Patrick’s Day. Chinese culture seemed to be a relic of the past, a vestige of outdated beliefs and hokey-pokey.

However, my outlook on holidays would be completely revolutionized in middle school. In sixth grade social studies, my teacher taught us about Mesopotamia, Egypt, as well as China, and used a Western perspective to analyze the traditions and customs of each culture. In addition, seventh grade social studies introduced our class to Japanese culture, Islamic beliefs, and Indian celebrations. Of course, all of this information on cultures all around the world was explained from a Western perspective, like an American examining artifacts in a Chinese museum, except that the artifacts were not outdated, or archaic like I had presumed. PUSD’s middle school curriculum led me to once again embrace my Chinese heritage. My teachers would speak of the Imperial Palace as an architectural wonder, and not just a couple rickety, ramshackle pagodas as I had come to believe they were. Once more, I could eat my moon cakes with pride, and attend the annual dragon dances in Chinatown with the intent of expressing my culture. No longer was I like a race horse with blinders—only accepting Western traditions.

Today, my family celebrates an eclectic selection of Western and Eastern holidays—whether it be Christmas or the Chinese Lunar New Year, Halloween or the Moon Festival, I will always be proud of my identity as a bridge between two cultures. This holiday season, it is important for us to remember that there are hundreds of cultures in the world with their own long list of holidays and festivals. Our planet is beautiful because it contains life, but life itself is beautiful because it comes in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors. It is incumbent that we tolerate one another’s beliefs, or even better, partake in them ourselves. Who doesn’t want moon cakes, pumpkin pie, latkes, and candy canes all in one season?

About the author

Skyler Wu is a 9th grade student in Del Norte High School.  He loves his school and is proud of his Asian heritage.

Current Event

Supporting Greater Cultural Education (IV)

2nd Annual Lunar New Year Awareness Week

For photo gallery of Lunar New Year Awareness Week, please online photo gallery

A Big Thank You

Next issue:

Safe and Creative Personalized Education (XIV): Keeping Myopia Away in Digital Age - the Essence of Recess

www.pusdparents.org

PUSD Parents Group (PPG) is a fast emerging nonprofit organization that seriously loves our Poway Unified School District (PUSD) and our community. We welcome all PUSD stakeholders within our community. Our mission is to strengthen the voice of our community. Our efforts are aimed at those who make change happen: PUSD parents, students, teachers and taxpayers. We highly value fiscal responsibility, accountability, transparency and all things that will demonstrate PUSD honesty and reliable communication with the community.