Last spring, incoming CBA 7th grader Katherine (“Kate”) Benware worked hard on the paper cranes she and her classmates made for the Paper Crane Peace Project. Kelly McCann, the librarian at St. Marys Academy in Baldwinsville, challenged the 19 students in her class to create 1,000 origami paper cranes beginning in February.
Kate Benware 17 (Baldwinsville) with the promotional poster for the Paper Crane Peace Project
The inspiration for the project came from the book One Thousand Paper Cranes: The Story of Sadako and the Childrens Peace Statue which McCann read to the class. In the story, a young Japanese girl battles leukemia she contracted after the atomic bomb was dropped at Hiroshima. According to Japanese legend, if you make 1,000 paper cranes, a symbol of peace and hope, you will be granted one wish.
Thus it was as an offering of hope and peace from the students that 1,000 cranes were donated to Upstate Golisano Childrens Hospital. Hospital staff determined that the cranes would be a wonderful exhibit for the art gallery at the hospital. Kate was especially excited when she was invited to visit the hospital to see the results of their efforts.
While at the hospital, Kate and Kelly viewed the cranes on display, suspended from the ceiling “in flight.” They also spent time with the pediatric patients, teaching them how to make origami cranes and hearts.
Kate Benware 17 and St. Marys Baldwinsville librarian Kelly McCann with paper cranes.