NWCS students take disaster in Japan to heart

CHESTERTOWN-After hearing about the nearly unfathomable disaster unfolding in Japan, North Warren Elementary School students have reached out to those surviving the horrific destruction.

North Warren 6th graders, in the classes lead by Poul Carstensen, Mary Matrose and Amy Gronert, launched a fundraiser this week at school to help provide some relief during the ongoing disaster recovery effort, Carstensen said Monday.

Through Friday, March 25, the students are giving away Origami paper birds they created with each $1 donation that will be contributed to the American Cross relief effort in Japan, he said. Coin collection cans were also placed through the school building.

Carstensen noted that the students were studying the nature of tsunamis and other storm systems right before the earthquake occurred near Japan and prompted a 30-foot wave to batter the island.

"It's amazing how the students were able to realize how incredibly dangerous storms can be - they were silent when they watched the tsunami video footage that looked like it was out of a horror movie," he said.

He said the students exhibited deep concern and responded by launching their fundraiser. He said student Hannah Kenney and several of her peers taught everyone the technique of Origami paper folding in their quest to help their brethren on the other side of the globe.

Carstensen said the disaster in Japan prompted the students to truly appreciate their secure home here in the Adirondacks, inspiring a determination among the students to reach out to Japanese citizens.

"Our students really took this tragedy to heart," he said.

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