One Class at a Time, part 2 & PRINTABLE

From my previous post two people commented that they were intrigued (even if I reached just one person that was fabulous). I wanted to explain the purpose of the program where I was just a little more: 

my "golden" paper clip, received July 13, 2011

One Clip at a Time is dedicated to inspiring social activism and promoting civic engagement in students in 5th grade and above. The One Clip curriculum uses lessons of social justice drawn from the Paper Clips film to help children examine prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping in order to find ways to promote understanding, respect and acceptance. It gives them the opportunity to identify issues in their own classrooms and communities, and the resources to create concrete action plans that help them effect meaningful change. 

If we are earnest in our desire to transform our ideas into actions then we must truly believe that we can be the change. We must confront our own intolerances in order to reach our greatest potentials. We must recognize that every small act of kindness can build a world of peace. And we must celebrate every small pebble that we throw into that ocean of hope, knowing that the ripple it makes will be endless and ever-reaching. 

Some of you who have not seen the film may be asking, What is the Paper Clips Project?

photo taken July 14, 2011 in Whitwell, TN

Something amazing happened in the town of Whitwell, a small rural community of fewer than 2,000 people nestled in the mountains of Tennessee. In 1998, the principal of Whitwell Middle School introduced a voluntary, after-school Holocaust education class to open her students' eyes to the diversity of the world beyond their insulated valley. When the students, mostly white and Christian, struggled to grasp the concept and enormity of the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust they decided to collect six million paper clips to represent each soul that perished. The students' research found that Norweigans wore paper clips as a symbol of resistance against Nazi occupation during World War II. 

This simple idea eventually, and quite unintentionally, turned into a worldwide phenomenon, drawing international media attention and letters of support from literally every continent. The "Paper Clips Project" extended over several years and in 2001 the school dedicated a Children's Holocaust Memorial, which includes an authentic German railcar filled with a portion of the more than 30 million paper clips they eventually collected. A moving documentary, entitled Paper Clips and originally released theatrically in 2004, captures how these students responded to lessons about the Holocaust and how a committed group of children and educators provided hope and inspiration to countless others around the globe. 

inside the Children's Holocaust Memorial in Whitwell, TN

One idea that was presented to us that I would also like to share with is the idea of Acts of Kindness. I know many of us promoted this with drops in the bucket and other similar ideas, but in the true idea of an ACT of kindness, and One Act at a Time this is a sheet we were given: 


Just cut each film strip into sections and allow students to write their "Act of Kindness." Find a neat way for displaying them - this is really effective if they can see the filmstrip grow and increase. 

I urge you to contact One Clip at a Time. Their Professional Learning is FREE. They are willing to work with you and it is so very much worth your while.

1 comment

  1. I watched the documentary a couple nights ago and was very moved. I would love to incorporate Acts of Kindness and multiculturalism in the classroom. Another blogger posted her plan to incorporate weekly spotlights on cultures from around the world. My last class for my masters is on a pluralistic society and I can see how it all ties in. I think it was the "sneaker teacher" who posted an alphabetic country/cultural study. I'll be checking out the professional learning. It is a great plus that it is free.


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