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Hudson Valley P-Tech students learn empathy while helping people in Ukraine

Origami is an ancient art that's very mathematical. For a bunch of mostly STEM students, it's not just about folding the paper right and the math behind it - it's also therapeutic.

News 12 Staff

Mar 17, 2022, 9:35 PM

Updated 797 days ago

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Students at a Rockland County high school are learning about empathy while helping people in Ukraine.
It started with a simple piece of paper.
Origami is an ancient art that's very mathematical. For a bunch of mostly STEM students, it's not just about folding the paper right and the math behind it - it's also therapeutic.
Hudson Valley P-TECH teacher JP Keenan is usually talking about coordinates and quadratic equations, but for one day he traded theorems for a Japanese legend.
The legend promises anyone who folds 1,000 will get their wish.
It was Keenan's wish that he create a safe place for his students to talk about Ukraine, so he combined a love of paper cranes with discussion. Keenan also hoped it would inspire kids to do something.
Junior Jack Budway, a volunteer Tappan firefighter, says he already was.
"We walk through the halls complaining about our Wi-Fi going down while kids along with parents in Ukraine are being separated every day," he says.
His fire station was collecting supplies to send to Ukraine. He thought a box at school would bring in even more since P-TECH brings together kids from so many districts.
"This isn't something that happened before that we hear in our social studies books. It's happening live," he says.
The whole school got in on the live, real-world solution.
Now, Keenan and Budway hope to fill an entire box with supplies for Ukraine and an entire board with cranes.
Those who want to help can bring supplies to the school. At the end of the month, all donations will be added to a bigger drive and shipped to Ukraine.


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