East Point Academy celebrates Chinese New Year

By Amy Roper-East Point Academy – Photos by Ashley Sturkie/Amy Roper

East Point Academy in West Columbia has been abuzz with activity as the school and community celebrates Chinese New Year and the ringing in of the Year of the Dog.
The celebration kicked off with the sixth annual Chinese New Year Celebration and Auction on last week at the River Center at Saluda Shoals Park. East Point business partners, friends, families and staff shared a special evening which highlighted to significant accomplishments of the school while celebrating Chinese New Year.

The event included an authentic Chinese dinner, a live band, dancing and entertainment from traditional Chinese performers. The centerpiece of the event was a silent auction that raised over $30,000 to be used toward a new playground, educational enrichment and school operations. Auction items varied from small student made pieces to sports collectables to vacation packages. There was something for everyone.

“It was an absolutely amazing night for the East Point family! Our parents and staff worked so hard to make this a special night and all their efforts paid-off. The River Center has never looked more beautiful, the food was delicious and the entertainment was terrific. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of staff and parents supporting EPA,” said East Point Academy Head of School Mark Bounds.

The following evening, East Point students wowed the attendees at the Chinese Cultural Association New Year Gala. The students performed four traditional Chinese dances, showed the crowd a video featuring East Point Academy and demonstrated their skills speaking in Mandarin. Dance teacher Mr. Yinghao Dong said, “I was so
proud of our students. They danced great and represented our school very well. It was wonderful to show how we infuse Chinese culture and language into our school.”

Later in the week, festivities continued with a Chinese New Year parade and assembly. Student dancers, performers and activity groups paraded down Leaphart St., dressed in traditional Chinese attire and school spirit wear. Immediately following the parade, guest experienced the beauty and artistry of Chinese culture as students from every grade level perform in the school wide Chinese New Year Assembly. Performances included traditional Chinese dance and drum routines, Mandarin choral performances, a play performed in Mandarin and musical numbers. The program included the world primer of the newly composed East Point Academy Alma Mater.