Monday, March 21, 2011

This Week's Online Find:
Paper Cranes for Japan

While natural disasters, such as the recent earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan, impact all thinking people, children often are the ones most deeply affected by such tragedies. And I’m not talking only about children who live in areas directly affected by destructive forces of nature. Children around the world seem to react most strongly to images of human suffering and, perhaps because they are so acutely aware of their inability to control or change such situations, they also seem to be most strongly compelled to do something -- anything -- to help the victims. Teachers often are hard pressed to find projects that can fill their students’ need to help within the context of the typical classroom.

If you’re a teacher looking for something your students can do to help the victims of Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami, your search for a meaningful -- and doable -- project can end at Paper Cranes for Japan. The project -- a partnership among Students Rebuild, DoSomething, and Architecture for Humanity -- is designed to “inspire young people worldwide to support their Japanese peers,” by turning paper cranes into dollars for reconstruction, and eventually, into an art project that will serve as a symbolic gift from students around the world to the children of Japan.

For every paper crane sent in to the project, the Bezos Family Foundation, will contribute $2 to Architecture for Humanity’s reconstruction efforts in Japan. The project hopes to reach its goal of 100,000 paper cranes -- and a $200,000 donation toward rebuilding northern Japan. If you’re shipping more than 50 cranes, Students Rebuild will even pay the postage!

The Students Rebuild site includes a description of the project, a video on how to make an origami crane, an explanation of the legend of 1000 cranes, an overview of the reconstruction efforts in Japan, and more. Check it out -- and invite your class to join the movement to rebuild Japan!

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