1. Education

Whitwell Middle School Paper-Clip Project

This after-school project involves eighth grade students who are learning about the Holocaust and how prejudice and power in the wrong hands can be catastrophic. We have a project that we would like your help on.

We are trying to have 6,000,000 paper-clips sent to our school to represent the 6,000,000 victims of the Holocaust.


"We chose paper-clips for a special reason. During World War II, Norwegians wore paper-clips on their clothes to show their opposition to Nazism and anti-Semitism. ”


Whitwell Middle School is a small rural middle school located in eastern Tennessee. Our student body consists of about 425 students who are mostly Christian with very little cultural diversity. In our entire student body, we have only 5 African-American students. Those 5 students represent all of the cultural diversity in our school.

It is for this reason that we decided that our students needed to be prepared to handle the diverse world that they will be charged with leading in the future.

However, when we mentioned that 6,000,000 Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, our students could not believe that that many people were killed and no one did anything to stop it. So, to show them just how many 6,000,000 is, we came up with the paper-clip project.

We chose paper-clips for a special reason. During World War II, Norwegians wore paper-clips on their clothes to show their opposition to Nazism and anti-Semitism.

When completed, we will build a sculpture with the help of a local artist to be displayed in our town. The memorial sculpture is being designed by a California jewelry manufacturer and will stand as a lasting memorial for those who gave so much.

Our project will continue until December 31, 2001. At the end of this time, we will decide if the project will need to be extended.

It is not important to us how many paper-clips each person wants to send. We'll leave that decision up to them. The paper-clips should be sent to:

Whitwell Middle School
Holocaust Project
ATTN: S.Roberts/D.Smith
1130 Main Street
Whitwell, TN 37397

From tracking the states from which the paper-clips were sent to counting and organizing the load, every student at Whitwell Middle School will have a hand in making this project a success.

Thank you in advance for sending us paper-clips!

Update: As of March 14, 2001, the school has collected 2,108,622 paper-clips. Please keep sending us paper-clips!

Photograph provided by the Whitwell Middle School.


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