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2010 pop tab collection surpasses record

Submitted photos Representing Matt Friedl's winning 6th hour Modern World History class are: Megan Bahneman, Natalie Bennewitz, Sean Boesel, Alex Briesmeister, Anders Christensen, Evan French, Cierra Fritz, Amanda Heinecke, Danielle Inman, Dan Kelly, Austin Koeckertiz, Alberto Lagunas, Maddie Mahon, Alex Newell, Brady Reetz, Kayla Ridley, Kali Rinde, Mike Saltness, Kristin Sobottka, GaoCoua Thao, Dan Tripicchio and Hannah Van Sickle.1 / 2
students from Wendi Draper's class are Josie Monson, Bailey Mathews, Kelley Nelson, Lucas Walker, Cassie Schultz, Grady Gornick, Mason Ingram, Emma Gannon, Gillian Beard, Lucas Everson, Aaron Lofgren, Jaydon Crim, Nick Walker, Draper, Parker Madden, Hailey Huseby, James Sparbel, Kaiya Sundeen, Anabelle Smith, Karen Schultz and Mr. Friedl. Not pictured, Conner Cole.2 / 2

A record 190,000 pop tabs were collected this year for the seventh annual Hudson High School "Pop Tabs for Peace" event.

While studying the Holocaust in Modern World History, students in high school social studies teacher Matt Friedl's class 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 100 victims of the Holocaust. In 2004, the first year of the project, 79,000 pop tabs were collected.

This year, with the efforts of students, family, staff and community members, over 190,000 tabs were collected. The total shattered the previous record of 155,000 tabs collected last year. All pop tabs are donated to the Hudson McDonald's restaurant to be used for the Ronald McDonald House.

"We couldn't do this project without the support of both the schools and the community," said Friedl. "Over 785,000 pop tabs have been collected over the last seven years. 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 6-10 million victims."

At Willow River Elementary School, fourth-grade teacher Wendi Draper's class has embraced the project for the past three 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 treat others fairly and with respect. 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.'"