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Spreading Love, Hope, and Unity
Spreading Love, Hope, and Unity
Posted on 04/23/2021
“I think this project helped bring out the sweetest, most caring parts of them,” said Ms. Fisher. “They were all excited to do something to give back and help others. Multiple students even chose to make extra cranes during their recess time! These young adults have such sweet hearts.”By Stacia Harris
BCS Communications

Jordan Fisher’s fifth-grade students at Black Mountain Elementary (BME) are sending kindness and love to students in Tennessee after Knoxville was rocked by a shooting incident at an area high school, Austin-East. These students have faced several tragedies in the last few months. A Knox County Schools elementary teacher, Ms. Michelle Watkins, wanted her students to be a part of the healing process, and she wanted to get as many people involved as possible. Being a North Buncombe High graduate (‘95), she’s still plugged into the Asheville community. So, through social media, she put a call out asking for help with a unique project. 

“I am looking for people to help make paper cranes,” Ms. Watkins wrote in her social media post. “I would love to have enough paper cranes to have one on every desk at [Austin-East]. This small gesture will tell the kids ‘we see you, we hear you, and we value you."

Ms. Watkins’ students immediately began making the origami cranes, but she knew it would take many people working together to make enough for all of the Austin-East students. When BME’s Ms. Fisher saw the social media post, she didn’t hesitate to respond.

“Academics are, of course, extremely important to me, but showing kindness and love, this year more than ever, is important also,” said Ms. Fisher. “When I saw someone reach out for help showing love to a school that just experienced so much pain, I wanted to help, and I wanted my students to help. This was such a simple way for them to spread love, hope, and unity to others.”

According to Japanese folklore, making 1,000 paper cranes brings good luck.“The cranes represent healing,” said Ms. Watkins in her post. “The legend says that a person that makes 1,000 gets a wish. What we can wish here is hope.”

Several of Ms. Fisher’s classes jumped into action to create different types of origami and crane designs complete with sweet notes of encouragement. The students folded 150 to donate to the cause!

“I think this project helped bring out the sweetest, most caring parts of them,” said Ms. Fisher. “They were all excited to do something to give back and help others. Multiple students even chose to make extra cranes during their recess time! These young adults have such sweet hearts.”

Ms. Watkins, who also taught in Buncombe County Schools and still has many friends and family here in Asheville, is still collecting cranes. She has about 500 so far. If you are interested in being a part of this project, you can email her at michelle.watkins@knoxschools.org.

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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