Part of my job as an educator is to teach students how to be proactive citizens who stay informed about what’s happening in the world around them. My goal is to teach them that anything is possible and that they have the power to bring change. After learning about the devastating earthquakes and tsunamis that struck Japan this past March, I felt it was important to inform my students of the tragic events and encourage them to make a difference for the people of Japan.
Thinking outside of the box, I wanted to enable my students to do something that was more meaningful to them. Inspired by Joanne who first launched her Project: A Thousand Paper Cranes, I wanted to present a similar idea to the students at Little Rouge Public School where I taught. After reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a non-fiction children’s book, and learning that paper cranes are believed to bring hope, luck, and prosperity to those who wish for it, the Little Rouge community folded these beautiful paper cranes with heart felt messages written on them to show their support and encouragement.
With a dedicated bunch of students and staff, we used recycled paper and was able to fold more than 1000 Paper Cranes for our friends in Japan! (the kids couldn’t stop…kept bringing me more and more even after hitting our 1000 target!) We strung them together and hung them around the school for all to admire. They are now being packaged, ready to be mailed to Tohoku International School in Sendai, Japan (the area most heavily affected by the natural disasters).
I was amazed at the student body’s enthusiasm in learning how to fold paper cranes and their dedication towards helping to achieve the goal we set out to accomplish. From 6 year olds to 13 year olds, everyone was involved to make it happen. I can’t wait for the students in Sendai to receive the cranes and I can’t wait to let the students at Little Rouge know the response we get back from them! I’m so glad to know there are many young and dedicated people who are ready to be change-makers! : ) How would you encourage change in the places you work and play in?