National Governors meeting with our very own … Guess who !!!

Hello friends,

Last Wednesday, I got a unique opportunity to participate in the NGA (National Governors Association) Winter meeting with remarks from a special guest….Guess who? When I heard it was President Biden, my excitement knew no bounds. I thought it was really cool to be given a chance to participate in this meeting.

The day of the meeting I couldn’t wait for 1:30 p.m. I had thought about it all day. When the time finally came I got on to the livestream and the meeting started.

As I watched the meeting I was amazed to hear that President Biden had a goal of 100,000,000 Covid shots in his first 100 days and that 50,000,000 people had already been vaccinated in just 37 days. I also learned about the economic slowdown because of Covid- 19.

I wondered many times during the meeting that if I wave, could President Biden see me… ?? How cool would that be!! I wish someday I can meet him in person. President Biden, are you hearing this? 🙂

Taneesh watches President Biden speak on a laptop


Chinese/Lunar New year – Festivities and fun facts

Hello Friends,

Remember, I had mentioned about Chinese/Lunar New Year? I was going to make it a point to wish my classmates who celebrate this day. It was actually fun to reach out and make them feel special. I think it is the little things that matter to make everybody feel that we are all an integral part no matter what culture we belong to or how we look.

Over the past week I have been learning about the Chinese/Lunar New Year from my friends in school and neighbors. This year is the year of the Ox. It is a Chinese zodiac symbol for the year 2021. On the Chinese zodiac wheel there are 12 different animals. Each animal represents one year and then when all the symbols have been used it repeats. The last time there was an ox year was in 2009, the same year I was born.

I am so thankful to my classmates and neighbors who were more than happy to share their day with me. They were kind enough to share some pictures too for all of us to see.

Red lanterns
Photo Credit: Ashley

The decorations are an integral part of the festivities. Red lanterns are hung to keep away bad luck. They also make paper cuttings which is fun craft and for decoration it is usually pasted on the window. They are almost always red because the Color red is considered lucky.

Red Paper Cutting
Photo Credit : Ashley
Bright Red Envelopes
Photo Credit: Richell Chui-Yap

It is a tradition to gift bright red envelopes to kids, friends and family. These red envelopes are filled with money and symbolizes good wishes and luck for the New year. The importance of this tradition is not the cash held inside but it’s actually the envelope itself because Red color symbolizes good luck and prosperity.

Food shaped like oxen
Photo Credit: Richell Chui-Yap

On Chinese/Lunar New Year, families celebrate by eating lucky foods such as steamed fish, dumplings, spring rolls, tangyuan (those are sweet rice balls filled with sugar), nainguao (that is sticky rice cake).
As it is the year of the Ox , many foods are also prepared and shaped that way too.
How cool is that!!



Those sure do look yummy !!!

Food arranged on a plate to look like ox
Photo Credit: Angelica Tan

This is a salad dish…There is a tradition in which everyone gathers around to toss salad with chopsticks while shouting auspicious phrases like “Good luck or More blessings”… It is called a Prosperity Toss. That really sounds like a fun family gathering.



I also found out some other fun facts like:

  1. Noodles symbolize long life
  2. Chocolate coins are put in the center of some dishes for prosperity
  3. Oranges are traditionally eaten because round shape signifies wealth and prosperity
  4. Everybody wears special clothes mostly red with flowers on them
  5. Dragon dance is also a big part of the festivities

I loved learning about Chinese/Lunar New Year and everybody was more than happy to share their culture. I learned so many cool things and I wanted to share it all here so we learn as a team.


Chinese/Lunar New Year

Yesterday, in my class, I got to know about Chinese New Year. In 2021, it is celebrated on February 12th. It is popularly called the Chinese New Year but many other cultures celebrate it too so it is referred to as the Lunar New Year as well.

I would like to wish a very happy and prosperous New Year to all kids and their families who celebrate this.

From the little that I understood, this festival is celebrated over a number of days, till the Lantern Festival. Below is my plan to learn more about it in the next few days.

I want to reach out to my classmates who celebrate the Chinese/Lunar New year, first wish them a great year and then tell them that I would like to learn about the significance and how they celebrate it. I am sure they would be very happy to share.

Do you have friends/classmates who celebrate the Lunar New Year? Reach out to them to wish them and see what you can learn about this celebration.
And to all kids who celebrate this with your families, we would also love to hear from you about what you enjoy the most on this day. Email us at or post a comment here.

I cannot wait to share with all of you what I learn, over the next couple of weeks. Please keep checking this space for more updates!!

Happy Lunar New Year everyone
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Wishing you a Prosperity)


Oregon Kid Governor Announcement

It had been three long weeks since we had submitted our campaign videos and we had been patiently waiting for the Oregon Kid Governor Election voting and results. Then on a bright and beautiful day of 18th November 2020, I joined my class at 8:30 in the morning as usual. I was a bit suspicious when my teacher told the class and me that that there were mystery guests… hmm…. As soon as Mrs. Seawell (my class teacher) gave us the clue “We have some news on who the kids have chosen”, I immediately thought about Oregon Kid Governor but I was not completely convinced. It could have been something else. Then our mystery guests started coming in. First came my Principal and Vice Principal, then I saw that the previous Oregon Kid Governors and other dignitaries from the Oregon Kid Governor program have also joined.

My hands and body were shaking like crazy. Mary Beth Herkert told us about the Oregon Kid Governor Program and how it was a civics lesson for 5th Graders. After that, Raaga announced that I was chosen to be the 2021 Oregon Kid Governor! I thought I was ready for the results whatever they were but it turns out that I wasn’t.

Taneesh Announcement

My feelings had gone B-E-R-S-E-R-K. I was shocked, happy, speechless and surprised all at the same time. I couldn’t even register that this was happening. It was like someone had taken out a white-out marker and drew all over my mind 🙂

I heard someone in my class say “Yesssss!!” I came to know that my teacher and my parents had already known this and they had to keep it a surprise. That explained all of my parent’s sneaky behavior over the weekend 🙂

Then Raaga, Dom and Erika talked briefly about their experience during their terms. I gathered that it was sometimes a little bit of extra work but a whole lot of fun and learning.

It was a Wednesday, so my class ended early. When I was dismissed after school, I was still registering that I was going to be the 2021 Oregon Kid Governor.

As things settled down and I played some wall ball, I thought more about it I got more and more excited to start my 1 year term.

I am really Grateful for giving me this opportunity , I promise to give it my best . I would also like to congratulate all the finalists and everyone who participated as well for your amazing platforms. We can together make a difference!!

– Taneesh