Kids create Tohoku ornaments

by Mami Maruko

Staff Writer

Students from an international school participated Thursday in a Christmas-season fundraising event by a Tokyo hotel that is supporting children in the Tohoku region affected by the March 2011 disasters.

Thirty second- and third-graders from Nishimachi International School in Minato Ward made Christmas ornaments at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo that will be presented to children from the destroyed Ogatsu Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.

The kids from Nishimachi International made wreaths that will adorn the necks of wooden reindeer that will be displayed in the Grand Hyatt lobby in Roppongi until the end of November. They will then be delivered to the Ishinomaki students on Dec. 5 by staff from the hotel and the nonprofit organization Kids Earth Fund.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Grand Hyatt Tokyo has collaborated with Kids Earth Fund since the Tohoku disasters. In 2011, Nishimachi International students wrote Christmas cards to cheer up children in Miyagi Prefecture and last year they decorated small Christmas trees with sweets.

Erin McConnell, 7, a second-grader at Nishimachi International, said she enjoyed participating in the workshop but was “kind of nervous, too.”

“If I weren’t nervous, I would sing a Christmas song for (the children in Tohoku) and wish them a happy Christmas,” she said.