National Butterfly Project Takes Flight in Andover Through Eighth Graders

Honors children lost during the Holocaust

By Kasey Schoch
AE/MS eighth graders participated in a national butterfly project, in remembrance of all the children lost during the Holocaust, by creating 150 paper butterflies of all colors and designs. Photo: Kasey Schoch

For the fourth year now, eighth graders at AE/MS have been taking part in a national project called “The Butterfly Project.” Schools and museums all over the world create beautifully uplifting butterflies in honor of the the children lost during The Holocaust.

“More than 75 years after the young Czech poet Pavel Friedmann famously penned a farewell poem to “the very last” butterfly at the Terezin Concentration Camp, the children of the world have answered Friedmann with the largest migration of butterflies ever seen. The United Nations will host an exhibit of handmade butterflies made by children from six continents over the last two decades to memorialize the 1.5 million mostly Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust,” according to the Holocaust Museum of Houston website.

This year, the eighth graders at AE/MS created about 150 butterflies for the project. The artwork was inspired from poetry, children’s stories, non-fiction pieces, and a play adaptation reading of The Diary of Anne Frank. The unit not only helped educate students about this event in history, it also allowed them to show their comprehension in a creative way. Also included were butterflies from the class of 2020, which never were able to be displayed due to the school closure at the end of the year.

The butterflies were hung in the middle school hallway on April 27, the start of Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day. This day of memorial began at sundown on the 27th and continued through April 28.  The display (which was placed side-by-side with a bulletin board collection of book covers that were inspired by the Holocaust and the events of World War II)  remained for the students to observe upon their return to school on May 2, following their April vacation.