Elementary School Students Promote Peace Through Play

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

GROTTOES, Va.---Several South River Elementary students participated in a play focused on promoting peace on Saturday.

The play called "A Thousand Cranes," tells the story of a Japanese girl who got sick from the radiation from the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

She followed a Japanese legend hoping to feel better. The legend says a person who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish.

However, she died before she was able to complete the task. She folded 644 and her classmates folded the rest to complete a thousand.

Organizer Ada Hale said she wanted the students to learn from performing.

"The message we wanted to get across is for the children to be brought together to promote dialogue and empathy through the performing arts," Hale said. "To tell a story about peace and to show that peace ultimately begins in one's own heart."

Betty Blatz had grandchildren who participated in the play. She said the students taught the audience an important lesson.

"This shows you that good things can occur, that beauty can be brought back. It should be our focus," said Blatz.

She said she knows how hard an event like the Hiroshima atomic bomb can be. She lived through it.

"I do remember the aftermath of Japan and what it did to those people," Blatz said.

She said she is glad her grandchildren are learning about it now.

"In a way teaching them a lesson that will probably carry with them forever," said Blatz.

Hale said she hopes she can make a difference through this lesson.

"I think it's important to promote peace particularly at an early age, to build a foundation for our children and to give them the tools they need to succeed with people that are different than them," said Hale.

Volunteers and donations made the play possible this year. Hale said this is the first year of the play and she hopes it will continue in years to come.

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