SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - To kick off the Chinese New Year, the South Plainfield Library hosted a program for young patrons to learn about “The Year of the Goat.” 

 To help educate the young library patrons, about 20 - 25 students from Wardlaw Hartridge School in Edison performed some new takes on traditional Chinese dance and also a violin performance of traditional Chinese music. Several of the students from Wardlaw assisted the library children in spelling their names in calligraphy (or whatever else they wanted written). The children also crafted dragon masks and paper lanterns.  To add to the cultural experience, the Library served rice crackers, oranges, scallion pancakes, and white tea.

Hua Liu currently teaches Level I through Level IV Mandarin Chinese in the Upper School of Wardlaw Hartridge.  She is also an administrator at a local weekend Chinese school. In addition to her experience in teaching Chinese, she has taught ESL and job searching skills to immigrants from all over the world. Her expertise in creating student-centered, meaningful, and fun activities has made her classes a dynamic learning environment. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China and her Master of Arts degree from Cleveland State University.

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Teaching along with Liu, Alice Zhao was educated in China where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Dalian Normal School. She has taught in a variety of schools in China and the United States since 1985, including working with Hua Liu, at a weekend Chinese school. Mrs. Zhao took courses at the Rutgers World Languages Institute this summer.  She also serves as host family for one of Wardlaw’s Upper School international students.

“This was a wonderful experience for the children who attended this program” said Library Director, Linda Hansen. “On behalf of the entire library staff, I would like to thank Hua Liu, Alice Zhao and their students from Wardlaw Hartridge who shared their knowledge with our town.”