Lifestyles

Story published: 02-12-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Lamar sixth-graders use origami to help Sandy Hook healing process


By Kristen Swing
Executive Editor

When it comes to origami, 12-year-old Cameron Ayllon is a self-professed “master.”

“Origami is my hobby,” the Lamar School sixth-grader said. “I’ve done balloons, butterflies, a bunny. I know how to make a German shepherd, full body.”

Ayllon and his 68 classmates recently created 1,000 origami cranes as part of a class project that is now on its way to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Through an interdisciplinary educational unit, the Lamar students read the children’s book, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. The book shares the true story of a girl living in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bombing. After developing leukemia, the girl sets out to make 1,000 paper cranes in hopes that her wish to live will come true. Paper cranes are supposed to symbolize healing.

Once the students read the book, teachers discovered an organization called Origami Salami, which is currently conducting a global project called Operation Sandy Hook: Peace to You. In an effort to help the healing process, people from all over the world are making origami cranes and sending them to the school where dozens were murdered, including 20 children, in a mass shooting last December.

Lamar students are offering up their 1,000 cranes — made of origami paper, wrapping paper, notebook paper and newspaper — in hopes they will add to the movement for peace at Sandy Hook.

“All together with my mom, I probably made about 50 cranes,” said Haley Oscar, 11. “Me and my mom felt like it was sad about those kids. We felt like we were helping them to get well.”

Alexis Whitaker, 11, also made somewhere around 50 cranes for the project.

“It’s for a good reason and it was fun to do,” Whitaker said. “I think they will like them (at Sandy Hook) because they will know somebody cares about them.”

From reading the heartbreaking book to mailing off the handmade cranes and every step in between, the project offered students plenty of lessons in subjects ranging from world history to math.

“It was a collaborative effort between all the sixth-grade teachers,” said Tina Bailey, who teaches sixth-grade language arts. “We worked as a team for this community outreach project.”

To learn more about Operation Sandy Hook: Peace to You, visit www.origamisalami.com.