The Community Affairs Board Family Literacy Program hosted its first-ever Lunar New Year event for local K-12 students on Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Isla Vista Community Center. 

C.A.B.’s Family Literacy Program hosted the event at the IV Community Center. Nexus File Photo

Family Literacy Program (FLP) is a branch of UC Santa Barbara’s Community Affairs Board (C.A.B.) which provides access to free, high-quality tutoring to local K-12 students from UCSB student volunteers. 

The event was open to the entire community, with several crafts and activities mirroring the holiday’s traditions. 

Children were provided red envelopes embedded with gold dragons to hold their crafts — red symbolizing good luck and fortune. 

The program also provided children’s books that explained the history and significance of the Lunar New Year, a holiday that marks the first full moon calendar and is widely celebrated across Asia.

“[The] goal is spreading cultural awareness and education surrounding this holiday,” FLP co-coordinator Arnold Johnson said in a statement to the Daily Nexus. 

Johnson noted that outreach for the event was difficult, speaking to the large size of both the Goleta Union School District and Santa Barbara Unified School District making lines of communication stretch thin. 

“I’ve had difficulty spreading the word and reaching good contacts in the school systems,” Johnson said. 

However, the event was successful among the youth in the community, according to Johnson. The program hosted children and parents from at least six different elementary schools.

“I think we reached most of the families through a district Friday Flyer,” Johnson said. “But the dragon crafts were a hit and the families were very excited to hear about future events from C.A.B. as well as our Family Literacy Program tutoring.”

FLP hosts weekly tutoring sessions at the Isla Vista Community Center, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. Additionally, the program is holding a children’s book fair in Corwin Pavilion as part of C.A.B.’s annual Volunteer Week in the spring. 

A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the Feb. 15, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.