2011 HHS pop tab collection reaches 1 million markThis year’s Hudson High School eighth annual “Pop Tabs for Peace” project reached a new milestone — over one million total pop tabs have now been collected during this event.
This year’s Hudson High School eighth annual “Pop Tabs for Peace” project reached a new milestone — over one million total pop tabs have now been collected during this event.
While studying the Holocaust in Modern World History, students in high school social studies classes are challenged to collect and count pop tabs in order to try and visualize the magnitude of the loss of lives with each pop tab representing 50 victims of the Holocaust.
In 2004, the first year of the project, 79,000 pop tabs were collected.
This year the program expanded to include more than 325 students participating from Theresa Jenness’, Val Crowell’s and Matt Friedl’s classes. Their combined efforts resulted in collecting over 300,000 tabs. This total shattered the previous record of 190,000 tabs collected last year.
All pop tabs are donated to local charities such as the Hudson McDonald’s restaurant to be used for the Ronald McDonald House and the Shriners Women’s Auxiliary that uses the funds to purchase wheelchairs for children. A Willow River Elementary School sibling has benefited from this program.
“We couldn’t do this project without the support of both the schools and the community,” said Friedl. “Collecting one million pop tabs is quite an accomplishment for the students. This represents approximately 8 percent of the number of victims during the Holocaust. We have a long way to go in reaching a total of approximately12 million victims.”
One anonymous donation from the grandparents of a Houlton elementary student contributed 36,000 pop tabs to the project this year.
At Willow River Elementary School, fourth-grade teacher Wendi Draper’s class has embraced the project for the past four years. After reading the book, “Hana’s Suitcase,” by Karen Levine Draper’s students continued the tradition of honoring Hana’s life by helping Friedl’s class with the pop tab collection.
The class learned about the power of symbols and decided that a paper clip would symbolize Willow’s goal to work toward compassion, perseverance and tolerance. On Hana’s birthday, May 16th, they kicked off the pop tab collection by giving every person at Willow River a paper clip to wear on their shirt. The paper clip idea was inspired by the project/book “Six Million Paper Clips, the Making of a Children’s Holocaust Memorial.” A plaque on the Children’s Holocaust Memorial in Whitwell, Tenn., reads: “Never doubt that a group of thoughtful, committed students can ‘Change The World – One Class At A Time.’”
“Since many of the donations were made anonymously,” said Friedl, “We’d like to take this opportunity and thank everyone who participated in our annual collection. Start saving those tabs for next May.”