Today marks the start of two significant cultural celebrations: Black History Month and Lunar New Year. Throughout the month, students in the school district will mark these occasions with lessons and activities designed to broaden their understanding of these observances and raise their awareness of why we celebrate.

Black History Month is celebrated throughout February and is a time to honor and celebrate the many contributions and achievements of Black Americans. The month was designated to draw the public’s attention to Black Americans’ accomplishments, which historically have been neglected in receiving the recognition they deserve. This year’s theme, “Black Health and Wellness,” explores the legacy of Black scholars and medical workers in both modern medicine and non-traditional forms of caring and healing. It also seeks to shine a light on and eliminate health disparities.

February 1 kicks of the weeks-long celebration of the Year of the Tiger, celebrated by Asian cultures worldwide. Traditionally, the holiday celebration is a time to honor ancestors and deities and is celebrated with family reunions, parades, and fireworks to ward off evil spirits. The Lunar New Year signifies rebirth, and the tiger symbolizes bravery, wisdom, and strength.

Let us unite in celebration this month. May we all focus on our health, wellness, and healing, and enable the tiger to give us strength and courage. I wish all members of our New Rochelle community a joyous and meaningful Black History Month and Lunar New Year.