Reporter’s Notebook: Boy teaches others art of origami

Courtesy photo

By Jean Verlich: CNJ news editor

IF IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD, it takes a school to build a Senbazuru, and then some.

That’s what fifth-grader Jacob Jones learned this past school year.

For his independent project in the Gifted and Talented Program at Zia Elementary School, the 11-year-old chose origami, the Japanese art of folding paper into birds and flowers.

“MY GRANDMOTHER’S JAPANESE,” said Jacob, who was introduced to the craft by her.

Researching on the Internet, he learned about Senbazuru, a form of origami involving creating 1,000 cranes for special wishes. He chose to make the cranes for a Clovis resident battling cancer to wish the person a speedy recovery.

“HE KNEW HE COULDN’T do it by himself because that’s a lot of cranes,” his Gifted and Talented Program teacher, Carolyn Beauchamp, explained.

Jacob taught students at the school the craft so they could make the cranes, too.

“I taught the sixth-graders in GT so that they could help teach the younger classes,” Jacob said.

The youngster even put a box in the school lobby for donations.

“It was kind of a community effort,” Beauchamp said. And she taught members of the Gifted and Talented Advisory Council to fold the cranes, too.

“We were not able to get all 1,000,” Jacob explained.

Hundreds of cranes from different types of paper — even chewing gum wrappers — ranging in size from 1/2 inch to 5 inches were transformed into a mobile more than 5 feet tall.

Reporter’s notebook was compiled by CNJ news editor Jean Verlich. Suggested items may be mailed to Managing Editor Rick White at P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102. The e-mail address is: rwhite@cnjonline.com