Wheeling towards the Year of the Boar Students celebrate with bright colors and fun for all ROXANNE WHITE Tribune Intern Sunday marked the beginning of the week-long Chinese New Year celebration. Students at Pine Forest Elementary celebrated the Chinese heritage with a Chinese New Year Wheelchair Parade on Feb. 15. The hallways of the school were filled with fierce bright red and yellow flaming dragons, colorful fans, embellished artwork, glowing lanterns and lustrous silk dresses as each class, with students from general education classes decorating wheelchairs and adapted bikes for fellow students in inclusion classes, embraced a theme of the Chinese culture. Inclusion classes give special needs children the opportunity to interact with peers their own age and the decorative wheelchairs stole the show with their one of a kind pieces as they led the parade only to be followed by their friends prancing around them to the sound of soft Chinese melodies. "Each home room featured a special little star from the Life Skills Program and surrounded them with decorations, and more importantly, love and support," said B. Jane Poindexter, a Life Skills instructor at the school. "One class made Chinese fans to become a unique fan club. The kindergarten piglets celebrated the Year of the Boar proudly as they accompanied a beautiful little piglet in a cart busy throwing mud to the audience. The parade was led by a beautiful child on an adapted bicycle converted to a huge dragon and followed by children dressed in authentic Chinese costumes. What a wonderful way to allow everyone to experience being a star and inviting others into their world to see this experience in true inclusion and diversity." The hard work and dedication of the teachers, administrators, and the students, shined through the glowing faces of the students. Not only did the students get to furnish their outfits, but they learned more about another culture different from their own. The Year of the Boar marks the first year that Pine Forest Elementary featured a Chinese New Year Wheelchair Parade. Photo: Second graders Colin Barber, left, Kyndal Schindler and Mariah Payne helped ring in the Chinese New Year with colorful fans and bright smiles during the Year of the Pig celebration at Pine Forest Elementary on Feb. 15. Photo by Luisa Hart