PHOTOS: Inspired by Book, 1,030 Cranes Line Hallway at Stapleton Elementary School

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FRAMINGHAM – A trio of fifth grade students at Stapleton Elementary School inspired the school to create more than 1,000 cranes, which decorate the entrance and hallway of the K-5 Framingham school located in the Saxonville section of the City of Framingham.

The fifth grade students, two boys and a girl, read the 1977 children’s book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, in February.

The children’s book tells the story of a girl diagnosed with leukemia from radiation caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Sadako’s friend told her to fold origami paper cranes, as a Japanese legend stated if a person creates 1,000 origami cranes their wish will be granted.

Sadako created 1,000 plus cranes, according to her family, but sadly she died from the cancer.

Sadako, in death, became a symbol of peace, and her tale is taught in Japanese schools on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.

Written by Eleanor Coerr and illustrated by Ronald Himler, the 80-page book has been translated into dozens of languages world-wide. In dedication to Sadako, August 6, is World Peace Day

The female student who read the book (Framingham Public School district asked that the ESL students not be identified in this report) had an idea to make paper cranes and hang them in Stapleton Elementary, explained one of the boys.

It took the students and staff in the school “almost a month” to reach 1,000 cranes.

Officially, 1,030 cranes hang above the students heads as they enter the school each morning and leave the school each afternoon.

“The students began making the cranes in March and went crazy in April,” said teacher Michelle Christensen.

Learning to fold the paper into a crane, took some practice, said the trio of students.

“The first time we did cranes, we watched a 3-minute YouTube video,” said Christensen. “It took us about 25 minutes to make our first ones.”

The three students laughed.

“Folding them was hard, when we first started,” said one of the boys.

“Then we were timing ourselves, and we got it down to about two minutes,” said Christensen. “They got really good at making them.”

The girl, who had the original idea to make 1,000 cranes, personally made more than 100 of them.

“Almost 200 of them,” she said.

Like Sadako, the gold paper cranes were her favorite.

“The whole school got involved,” said one of the boys.

“While reading the story, they learned how to make paper cranes and, admittedly,  it was a bit tricky at first, they persevered and became experts!  They then became inspired and wanted to see if they could get Stapleton students to make 1,000 cranes.  Honestly, at first, I was a little nervous (1,000 is A LOT), but they were so excited that we gave it a shot!  We reached out to all the classes, introduced the project and provided the directions and materials.  There was even the opportunity to have some of the older students come down to some of the younger classes to help those kids make cranes!  It was AMAZING,” said Christensen.

“Some kids did it at home and brought them in. Some students did it during indoor recess,” said Christensen.

“I had to cut them off from making more. We ran out of paper,” joked Christensen. “And we were running out of space.”

“The cranes are very colorful and welcoming,” said one Stapleton staffer.

“It truly is breathtaking!,” said Christensen.

Sadly, the cranes will be removed at the end of the school year, later this month.


Petroni Media Company photos for SOURCE


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