CLEAR LAKE — The flight of 550 kites in the Clear Creek Elementary School playground on Wednesday carried farther than you might think.
While Kaley Meyer was running to lift her kite creation into the air, the hands of children from as far away as Russia, Australia and Israel were doing the same.
“They are really pretty when they are up in the air, and that’s happening all over the world,” the 9-year-old said of the kites.
The event — Talking Kites All Over the World — is a project coordinated by International Education And Resource Network, or IEARN.
IEARN is a resource site for a number of collaborative projects designed by people all over the world. Talking Kites All Over the World was designed by Adi Yekutieli, an Israeli artist who believes the creation and the flying of a kite is a “symbol of dialogue, brotherhood and understanding,” he said on the IEARN website. Many of the countries involved have been torn apart by war.
Kelli Mason, technology integration coach for Clear Lake schools, is a member of IEARN and suggested teachers learn about the projects.
“These are all part of a global collaboration project,” Mason said. “It gives our kids a larger sense of others in our world.”
Art teacher Becky Brandt felt the Talking Kites project fell in line with Clear Creek’s mission this year of “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully,” and “Follow Your Dream.”
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Brandt and others spent about a month helping students in all grades create their kites.
Their work was rewarded, according to Ava Ollenburg, 9.
“It makes me feel together with others more,” she said.
Students were encouraged to color their kites with their own dreams. For Eric Heitland, 9, that meant several things.
“Well, there is ‘Real Steel’ here because I want my friend PJ and I to be the first ones to build a Real Steel robot. This, he said, pointing to a long yellow line, is “a spine, because I want to be a urologist someday.
“And this,” he said, pointing to another drawing, “is Bigfoot. Just because I like Bigfoot.”
Children videotaped the flying of kites throughout the day. Once done, all participating countries will post videos to websites so everyone across the world will be able to see the results in each country.
Kacey Zickefoose, 9, slightly out of breath, displayed her kite filled with sayings and pictures.
One of the slogans said this: “I like to fill up everything because I don’t want an empty life.”