New Albany fourth-graders raised $1,020 for the victims of the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan.

New Albany fourth-graders raised $1,020 for the victims of the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan.

The funds will be sent to the American Red Cross.

"I commend our students and staff on their efforts to support the victims of the tragedy in Japan. The students' generosity and caring actions is a direct reflection of their parents, school, and community," said 4-5 principal Chris Briggs.

Fourth-grade teacher Ray Cunningham said the students were brought together to discuss current events. They watched a short movie, "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes," which related to the current devastation, he said. The movie is based on a nonfiction children's book about a girl who died from leukemia caused by radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. Before she died, the girl tried to create 1,000 origami cranes.

To help relief efforts, students bought a sheet of origami paper for 50 cents and learned how to make their own paper cranes. The cranes were hung in the school lobby "as a visual reminder," Cunningham said.

Families also could make donations.

"Quite a few sent in checks for $20 or $30. A couple families sent in even more," Cunningham said. "All money, including additional donations, will go to the Red Cross."

The fundraiser was held in partnership with the 2-5 parent-teacher organization.