Students help with relief efforts in JapanOn March 11, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Japan, causing mass destruction and a tsunami that devastated the country. Thousands were killed in the disaster, with thousands still missing. Such a terrible event has caused people all over the world to unite in hope, prayer, and relief efforts for the Japanese people.

Here at Imagine Learning, we’ve been collecting donations from employees to benefit the victims of the disaster, as many people are doing worldwide. But adults aren’t the only ones who have been participating in relief efforts for Japan. Hundreds of elementary schools, high schools, and school districts have been showing support and sending relief in many ways, whether it’s by raising money through bake sales or folding paper cranes as a symbol of hope and support.

So what can your school to help? Here is a list of just some of the many ways real students are participating in the relief efforts in Japan. Use these suggestions to help your students think of ways they can help too. (Click the links to read more about each story.)

  • Set up a collection for monetary donations, encouraging students, staff, and parents to participate, like the Toronto District School Board. You could even set a goal of how much money you want to collect, like Buckeye Local School District in Medina, Ohio.
  • Have a lifted dress code day where students can pay to dress in sports jerseys, pajamas, or other casual clothes, and then donate the proceeds, like several schools in Denver Public Schools and Boston Public Schools.
  • Sell cookies or baked goods to raise funds to donate, like Greenwood Elementary in Denver.
  • Collect loose change in coin jars from classrooms, like Southmoor Elementary in Denver or Eliot K–8 in Boston.
  • Collect plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and other items to recycle from students, and then donate the proceeds, like Southshore Elementary in Menifee, California.
  • Have each student write a message of hope or encouragement on strips of construction paper, and then create a chain from the slips and display it in your school, like students from East Lake Elementary School in McDonough, Georgia.
  • Host an activity, like a bowl-a-thon, where students pay to participate. Then donate all proceeds, along with donations collected at the event, like students from Fabyan Elementary and Mill Creek Elementary in Geneva, Illinois.
  • Have students design t-shirts, bracelets, or ribbons to sell, and then donate the proceeds, like Snowden International School in Boston or Charlottetown Rural High School in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
  • Unite students’ efforts and fold one thousand paper cranes, or as many cranes as you can, to either sell to raise money or dedicate to the victims in Japan, like Fox Mill Elementary School in Herndon, Virginia, Lena Shaw Elementary School in Surrey, British Columbia, and several elementary schools in Boston Public Schools.
  • Hold a Japanese awareness day to help students learn more about the culture in Japan as well as the impact of the earthquake, like Lee Academy Pilot School in Boston.
  • Have students sacrifice something in order to raise money to donate—the Japanese National Honor Society from Boonsboro High School in Boonsboro, Maryland took the money that they were raising for a trip to Japan and donated it to the relief efforts.

If you and your students want to help with the relief efforts in Japan, here are some organizations you can work with.

Have you already participated in or seen examples of students helping with the tsunami relief efforts? We would love to hear about and be inspired by your experiences.