Paradise Valley DLI students celebrate Chinese New Year (Gallery)

Fourth grade students perform “The Heaven Sent Pig” on Thursday, Jan. 31, at Paradise Valley Elementary. The play is based on a traditional Chinese fable and was performed entirely in the Mandarin language by Dual Language Immersion (DLI) students. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Students at Paradise Valley Elementary performed a colorful musical play on Thursday morning celebrating the Chinese New Year.

The play was performed entirely in the Chinese Mandarin language, which students in the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program are studying.

The play, called “The Heaven Sent Pig”, is a morality tale warning against greed and based on an old Chinese parable. As in other years, music teacher Nathan Gurtler arranged the music and play.

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Students, parents and volunteers have been raising money over the past five years of the program to send DLI students on a trip to China. The plan is to send every fifth-grade DLI class on the field trip every year, and 2019 marks the first fifth-grad DLI class at PV. The students will take the trip this spring.

“This is the first year we are full from kindergarten through fifth grade,” said parent volunteer Dian McGinley, who has a third-grader in DLI.

“They’re going to see amazing things…both sight seeing and experiences,” said McGinley.

Some families with fifth-graders are waiting to take the trip when their younger children also in DLI are old enough to go, said McGinley

Paradise Valley Elementary DLI fourth-graders will perform their “Heaven Sent Pig” program tonight at the Nicolaysen Art Museum to help raise money for next year’s trip. Performances start at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $5 and $3 for children over age 2. Food and beverages will be available for purchase as well.

“I think DLI has the biggest blessing to my family,” said McGinley. “We feel like we won the lottery ticket of education by being here…the brain development (on her son) that goes along with it has been truly a gift.”