Second and third grade students in Deb Gurwicz’s and Amy Heinz’s classes at Orchard Elementary School. 


Collection of Cranes for Japan Disaster Relief

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Thursday April 21, 2011

In response to the March 11 earthquake that struck Sendai, Japan, Students Rebuild partnered with DoSomething.org, to ensure students worldwide have a way to support their Japanese peers.  Second and third grade students in Deb Gurwicz’s and Amy Heinz’s classes at Orchard Elementary School found out about the program through UVM’s Asian Studies Outreach Program.  The two teachers had traveled extensively throughout Japan during the summer with  ASOP’s Institute on Japan and felt a real connection.  Students were actively engaged in their studies of Japan, making  global community connections.  Of course, they all felt compelled to do something to help.  

In addition to their Food and Craft Parent Share where they raised $323.61  to donate to Red Cross, the teachers put the word out to all of their colleagues in the South Burlington District schools.  Several people, from each elementary school to South Burlington High School’s math classes, contributed to the cause. Together, students from the district have donated 2,319 cranes to Students Rebuild. 

The second and third graders who organized this have engaged in many math opportunities involving the impressive collection of cranes.  They figured out that the donation amounts to $4,638 for the cranes.  You see, these simple yet powerful gestures will trigger a $200,000 donation from the Bezos Family Foundation—$2 for each crane received—to Architecture for Humanity’s reconstruction efforts in Japan.  Once the goal of 100,000 submissions is met, the cranes will be woven into an art installation—a symbolic gift from students around the globe to Japanese youth.....These classes want to say thank you to all of the people who helped make this donation a reality.  They are aware that there are other Japan Disaster Relief Fundraisers happening because of the teachers’, students’ and parents’ efforts throughout the South Burlington School District.  For this, they are most grateful.

SOURCE: Deborah Gurwicz, 2nd grade teacher, Orchard Elementary School