News / USA

Schoolchildren Make 1,000 Paper Cranes on Behalf of Japan Victims

At Somerville Elementary School in Ridgewood, New Jersey, students honor victims of the disasters that hit Japan with a veritable flock of paper origami cranes
At Somerville Elementary School in Ridgewood, New Jersey, students honor victims of the disasters that hit Japan with a veritable flock of paper origami cranes

Multimedia

Bernard Shusman

Among the worldwide efforts to help the people of Japan following the recent earthquake and tsunami are school children who are reaching out in various ways. One New Jersey school is taking a unique approach to help, and teach its children empathy for the victims in Japan at the same time.  

There are nearly 40 Japanese-American students at the Somerville Elementary School in Ridgewood, New Jersey.  But all of the school's 525 students have heard about the disasters that hit Japan. They have decorated their school with a veritable flock of paper origami cranes.   In Japan, it is said folding 1,000 paper cranes confers the right to make a wish, and the Somerville students are engaged in an effort to translate their empathy for victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami into a wish for a speedy recovery.

Art teacher Samantha Stankiewicz says it gives students a way to express empathy for victims.

"For children, the folding of the cranes has been a really positive way for them to feel like they're actively engaged, even though the cranes are symbolic," said Stankiewicz.

These students thought out loud as they folded cranes in the school library.

BOY: "The crane is a symbol of hope, so we try to have a lot of hope for those people in Japan."
GIRL 1: "It makes me feel really happy that everyone's caring for another country."
GIRL 2: "I feel sad for them; like really sad for them.  But I also feel happy for us, because we are really trying to help out."

That help consists of contributions from students to disaster relief agencies.  Principal Lorna Oates-Santos says children at the school have donated nearly $2,000.

"We will be donating that money to the American Red Cross and Save the Children," said Oates-Santos.  "They are two groups that are ready, on the ground in Japan to help the people of Japan."

Joining the assistance effort is the school's television club, which produces weekly programs on a variety of topics.  Fourth grade teacher Gabrielle King runs the club.

"When the earthquake happened, the children wanted to know what they could do to inform other students and raise awareness for the people in Japan," said King.  "So, we decided to do a show on the earthquake, and to also making the cranes; the origami cranes."

Somerville Elementary made 1,000 cranes and a wish for the people of Japan to have a prompt recovery.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid