Senbazuru, or 1,000 paper cranes held together by strings, in Japanese lore is a sign of peace and hope, and once they are made a wish will be granted. As a sign of empathy and a sign of peace for the people of Japan affected by the recent tsunami, Smithtown students, led by East High School art teacher Mr. Needles, are folding 1,000 paper cranes for a school in Japan.
This is a great opportunity for students of all ages in Smithtown to learn about the Japanese culture and learn the art of paper folding. By taking a break from the usual routine in the classroom this will generate new excitement amongst the students and teachers, which is why I think this will be a huge success. Most of the students and teachers in Smithtown don’t speak Japanese therefore we cannot connect with them through speaking, but we can most definitely connect with them through art.
Each paper crane will be photographed and arranged into a beautiful, large, photo montage and will be sent to schools in Japan. Teachers from all over the district have responded with great interest to the project and their classes will be making paper cranes in upcoming weeks.
Other teachers currently participating in this project are Nesaquake Middle School art teacher Mrs. DiSalvo, Mount Pleasant Elementary art teacher Mrs. Martin and East social studies teachers Mrs. Gentile and Mrs. Woods. Other people making cranes within the district are Mrs. Arale, Mrs. Antunes, Mrs. Frevele, Mr. Jacket, Mrs. Papadopoulos, and Mrs. Sininsky.
At the rate the “1,000 Crane Project” is going, Smithtown may be able to grant Japan more than one wish, and send the cranes to more than one school.
Not all cranes will be created with just plain white paper – the students in Mr. Needles’ AP art class painted their finished cranes and designed their own origami paper. Most of the other classes will also be coloring their cranes to make each one different.
Mr. Needles is hoping to travel in August and bring the actual cranes to the schools. He is also planning to sell 3 x 5 prints of the student designed cranes, with the proceeds going to the Japan Society’s relief fund.
This is a great way for the students of Smithtown to learn about Japanese culture and help schools in Japan who were affected by the disaster. Hopefully the students will feel a sense of accomplishment after making their first paper crane, just like I did. When I finally figured out how to make mine, it didn’t come out perfect, but I still was so proud of it. I hope that all students feel the same way after making their first paper bird. The fact that there is a strong purpose to the “1,000 Crane Project” it really makes the students feel like they are helping out. I think it’s really cool that the crane I folded will end up in a school in Japan this summer and I hope everyone else feels the same way.
For more information about this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.