Students at Schaghticoke Middle School in New Milford recently participated in its annual “Crane-a-Thon” project.

The project was led by art teacher Trudy Cox.

Students created nearly 10,000 cranes, a form of origami.

Cox said the project stems from the story of “Sadako and the Thousand Cranes,” which is about a little girl from a village near Hiroshima who folded 1,000 cranes in hopes of having a wish granted.

The origami crane has come to symbolize peace and hope.

The SMS crane project began about eight years ago.

“My parents died of lung cancer and, since Christmas was my dad’s favorite holiday and I was feeling kind of blue, I decided to make origami cranes and take them to the cancer care center that year,” Cox explained.

“I mentioned this to my wonderful Art Club kids, and being the sensitive artist types, they dove into helping me,” the teacher said.

About 100 cranes were made the first year.

The staff at SMS liked the idea and the following year the entire school was invited to participate in a “Crane-a-thon.”

This year’s event hosted 125 students, with the assistance of PTO and many teachers.

The Leo Club assisted by stapling a small card with the crane story on each one, and math classes announced the crane total daily.

“I’m pretty sure that my purpose for the crane-a-thon came true; we spread art and hope throughout the community of Schaghticoke Middle School, and New Milford in general,” Cox said.

“Most importantly, all of the kids in the school were part of our project,” the teacher said.