Students fold cranes for kids in Japan


For local students aiming to help Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, origami is the new bake sale.

Coastal Point • R. Chris ClarkCoastal Point • R. Chris Clark

The OshKosh B’Gosh company will donate one article of clothing to Japanese children for each paper crane Americans send. The “Cranes for Kids” program will accept up to 50,000 pieces, so all one has to do to help is fold.

Students at G.W. Carver Academy in Frankford have taken this plan and flown with it.

When mathematics teacher Page Lyons asked her students if they wanted to participate a few weeks ago, they immediately agreed.

Cranes are a symbol of health and well-wishes in Japan, and folding 1,000 of them is believed to grant a wish for the folder.

Lyons received a message about Cranes for Kids as a member of the OshKosh email list. After Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in March, she saw this as an opportunity for students to help other children in the world, without having to ask for monetary donations.

“They came from talking about it in social studies,” said Lyons of the Japanese tragedy. “This was just the perfect opportunity.”

Plus, OshKosh said it would happily accept a bulk shipment of cranes.

The students were so interested in what had happened and enjoyed making paper cranes so much that some began folding them during free time at school and at home, often using their own resources.

Some of the students are doing origami for the first time. Tenth-grader Fred Lynch said some of the steps are awkward. Yet he and others are now able to fold the cranes without even checking the directions.

Lyons originally challenged the students to fold 100 cranes, which was accomplished within two days.

Ninth-grader Montrail Taylor alone has folded dozens of cranes, switching to shiny foil paper after a while and attempting miniature cranes, as well.

Lyons teaches around 45 students, who may fold cranes during the last few minutes of class.

“It’s a nice way to relax and wrap up at the end,” said Lyons.
Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Montrail Taylor folds an origami swan out of foil paper. Taylor has taken to origami and began making miniatures, folding dozens of cranes for Cranes for Kids.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark
Montrail Taylor folds an origami swan out of foil paper. Taylor has taken to origami and began making miniatures, folding dozens of cranes for Cranes for Kids.

The students work on these unique geometry projects quietly, or while discussing the correct way to fold. Lyons and a paraprofessional educator walk around the classes to guide the students and hand out more paper.

With fellow teacher Tanya Marvel’s elementary students helping the cause, Carver Academy students have folded more than 200 cranes.

Additional information on Cranes for Kids can be found online at www.oshkoshbgosh.com. The company will accept paper cranes until April 25.