Grade 5 students Serena Choo and Sharon Ahn got into the spirit of Multicultural Day at Richard Bulpitt Elementary on Friday.

VIDEO: Richard Bulpitt Elementary marks Year of the Rooster

Multiculturalism celebrated at school on Willoughby slope.

It’s an event so important to Lucy Lenko, the recently retired principal returned to Richard Bulpitt Elementary to facilitate it.

To mark the start of the Year of the Rooster, Richard Bulpitt Elementary held its annual Multicultural Day on Friday.

Lenko, who retired at the end of December, felt compelled to come back to the school to help out with the event, and received a rousing ovation from students and staff when introduced during an assembly.

“We started doing this (Multicultural Day) because we felt it was really important that our students learned who they were, because it (Richard Bulpitt Elementary) was a brand new school on the Willoughby slope,” Lenko said, about the event’s origins. “And we have such a diverse and ethnic background of people who live in this area — students and parents… a large Korean population. So we really wanted to see them cross-pollinate with each other, (and) get their families to know each other.”

She added, “It’s such a lot of fun and it’s something that I really believe in, as well. It builds community.”

The school gym was filled with tables and stations, prepared by parents and families, with representation from Canada, Korea, Eastern European countries, Latin America, Australia, First Nations, Chinese culture, Great Britain, and India and Pakistan.

Various cultures, crafts and foods were shared from around the world and across Canada. After the stations closed there was a Lion Dance and a Taekwondo demonstration in front of all the students.

Lenko said having the parents involved was not only beneficial for the students, but also for the adults who had a chance to mingle.

“It’s a really good opportunity for people to get to know each other,” she said.

There are 530 students at the school, and Lenko estimates that 25 per cent of them are ELL (English Language Learners).

“We really are drawing from all over the world in our school district,” Lenko said. “I think it’s because we have such a good reputation, as well, as a school district.”

Chinese New Year at Muriel Arnason Library

This Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m., the community invited to celebrate the Lunar New Year at Muriel Arnason Library.

Visitors can make a craft and a lucky envelope, taste some New Year’s foods, and enjoy a Chinese dance by a professional dancer.

This ninth annual event is a free, drop-in program. All supplies are provided.

The Muriel Arnason Library is located in the Township of Langley Civic Facility, 20338 65 Ave.