After the recent earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent devastation in Japan, many students and faculty at Williston felt the need to respond in a large-scale manner. So the recent all-school assembly was given over to learning about Japanese culture and showing support for Japanese people in tangible ways. These tangible ways were both large and small, single and numerous, in the form of tiny paper cranes and a huge, football-field-sized heart.
During the assembly, students listened to the music of a Koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument, played by guest speaker Dr. Ann Prescott, director of East Asian Studies for the Five Colleges. Following her presentation, students learned how to fold paper cranes, and along with their teachers and advisors, created a grand total of 832 paper cranes. The goal is to create 1,000 cranes, and with the additional efforts of individual dorms, teams, and advisory groups, we are very close that number.
The cranes symbolize hope and well-wishes for the children of Japan. They will be sent to Cranes for Kids, an effort by the children’s clothing company OshKosh B’gosh, which will donate one article of clothing to a child affected by the recent tsunami for every crane received.
As Head of School Bob Hill described in a recent blog post, this school-wide effort followed the example of the children of two Williston faculty families, who have already folded their own 1,000 cranes, which are for sale at businesses throughout Easthampton. The kids have sold almost all of the 1,000 cranes so far and have raised more than $1,200 for the Red Cross in Japan.