The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 26, 2011

Peace lives a thousand ways at Chisholm

By Kasey Fowler, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID — In a way, Sadako received her dying wish — she lives on for sixty-eight third-graders from Chisholm Elementary School.

Chisholm students folded 1,000 origami cranes after reading “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr.

The colorful paper cranes now from the ceiling, decorating the hall outside the third-grade class rooms. Amber Schrahl, third-grade teacher at Chisholm, said students read the book before learning to fold the cranes.

“It is about a girl who was affected by the atom bomb we dropped on Japan. She was a baby when it was dropped but she developed leukemia when she was older,” said Schrahl.

“A friend told her that if she folds 1,000 paper cranes she will get a wish granted.”

In the book Sadako folds and folds and folds cranes in hopes of being healed.

“Her brother told her she didn’t have enough room so he would hang up the cranes for her. That is where we got the idea to hang ours up in the hall,” said Schrahl.

Sadako completed 644 cranes before she died. Her classmates folded the rest.

“She was buried with the 1,000 cranes,” said Schrahl.

The classes at Chisholm spent a few days learning to fold the cranes in January.

“Most of them came in and folded them on their recess time or at home. Most of them really enjoyed it,” Schrahl said. “It was inspirational for the kids to read about such a young girl. She was only 12 when she died. She was very courageous.”

The cranes were placed in the hall at the beginning of February.

At year’s end, students will send the cranes to a peace park in Hiroshima, Japan.