Working with the idea from a Japanese legend that says if you make a thousand paper cranes with one wish in mind it will come true, students at Chevy Chase Elementary School made and sent more than 2,000 paper cranes to Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The students’ wish? That there be peace for all Olympic athletes.
The idea grew out of an all-school meeting where a student wanted to know about terrorism at the Olympics, said Principal Jody Smith.
“That’s a frightening thought for the students,” she said.
Somehow the discussion of what could be done came around to the idea of the students making the paper cranes, an idea embraced by students in every grade, Smith said.
Each crane — the students ended up making 2,009 — was inscribed with the wish for peace, the five Olympic rings and the maker’s name.
“They made them all in two days, during indoor recess,” Smith said.
The first two batches of cranes went to Sochi with friends of one of the student’s parents; the rest were shipped from the school to the U.S. Olympic Committee in Sochi to be distributed to the athletes.
Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. (D-Dist. 8) of Kensington helped the school get in touch with the Olympic committee and visited the school to make one of the cranes.
“It was an honor to join the students in making and sending these cranes to our athletes in Sochi,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “Their message of peace and safety is one that we send out to all the men and women participating in this year’s Olympics.”