Global Sites: Japan
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes tells the story of a girl who makes origami cranes to find healing from radiation sickness after WWII. After reading the book, students of the Humanitarians class sent 1,000 cranes to their friends at the Multicultural Club at a school in Yamaguchi Japan in 2009. They also raised $300 to help children with leukemia. The club had spent the year learning about Americans by experiencing a typical Thanksgiving and by learning to blow bubble gum.
The Japanese exchange began with studies of the potential of Full-Circle Learning to influence Japanese education reform, spearheaded by Dr. Marilyn Higgins, of Yamaguchi University in 2008. A delegation from the university visited two schools. The exhibits they saw were created by students who had studied the role of unity among the resilience of Japanese internment camp detainees. They created wooden Japanese gardens in teams, practicing the habit of unity in the process. The year prior, charter school students learned enough Japanese to send greetings on video in response to postcards sent by the Japanese students.