Pre-summer is our busiest time of the year! We've been visiting schools, meeting new friends, and making fun dolls.
Meet the 4th grade class at North Merrick School!
The school is located about an hour drive away from Manhattan in Nassau County, surrounded by tall trees. This session was full of wonderful surprises...
Surprise 1: We were overwhelmed by the warm welcome upon our arrival!
The students had a "HappyDoll Wall" decorated with paper HappyDolls--inspirations for making their actual HappyDolls.
Surprise 2: The students were avid readers of the HappyDoll blog. They knew about the organization's mission, our past events, and what they were about to experience.
These students had been preparing for the session for almost 2 weeks by reading books for inspirational quotes to write on the dolls, and practicing their designs on paper. They even had a list of questions to ask our Executive Director, Nozomi.
When we talked about our HappyDoll trips and how many of them have been made all over the world, one student who had moved from Vietnam shared that when she grows up, she wants to make a difference for her country. We were moved by her story.
The session was a great success! How many HappyDolls did we make?
We made a total of 20 HappyDolls--all of which will travel to another child in need via the HappyDoll suitcase!
The students liked the photo from our brochure so much, they decided to make their own "HappyDoll Imagine Ring"!
After the event, we received a warm message from the teacher, Mrs. Nucero:
"The Happy Doll workshop enabled my students to reach into their hearts, to share their hopes and dreams, and connect those feelings with another child. This experience was not only heartfelt but offered my students an authentic opportunity to realize a fourth grader can make a difference in the world . Ms. Terao's enthusiasm and captivating stories motivated us to learn about the Happy Dolls and their touching stories of children around the world. When creating the dolls not only did each child have an unforgettable and meaningful experience, but they were inspired to realize how an individual can take a dream to help others and make that dream come true... even a 4th grader."--Mrs. Arlene Nucero
HappyDoll is so grateful to have met such a wonderful teacher through this event. We saw with our very own eyes how she inspires her students and help them realize they can make a difference in this world.
We asked Ms. Nucero to share the secret of being a great mentor. She said she starts off the day with these inspirational quotes:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margreat Mead.
“I've come to the frightening conclusioin that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.” -Hiam Ginnott
After the bon voyage ceremony, the students told the Executive Director they had prepared a "special gift" for her. They scrambled off to the back of the class, and when they returned, they had a handmade GIANT HAPPYDOLL in their arms!
The students and the director put their heads together for a name, and decided on FAITH. What a beautiful name! A BIG THANK YOU, to everyone at NORTH MERRICK!
Faith, the giant HappyDoll, with the HappyDolls made by students at North Merrick
Wait, wait! We still have another group of children to introduce!
You never know where opportunities lie.
During volunteer month at the Morgan Stanley Stuffing Session, we met Maria Pak, who approached us with a brilliant idea. She wanted to host a HappyDoll session at her daughter's school in Brooklyn.
That is how we got to meet the kindergarten class of PS 153 Manhattan Beach School !
Our Intern, Damin, who attended the session wanted to share a comment with you:
" Visiting PS195 has become a precious memory I will take back to Japan. It was my first time walking into American classrooms and meeting children in the States. This experience reminded me that regardless of language or nationality, children are the future, full of hope, full of passion, and full of potential to do something great in this world.
The phrase 'One for all, all for one' popped in my head as I watched the kids scribble away. I was moved just watching the kids put so much thought and love into creating a HappyDoll, not for themselves to keep, but to send to another child--someone in need.
I just imagine these dolls traveling across the sea and arriving in the arms of another, spreading the love, and spreading the happiness."
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone at PS195 Manhattan Beach School for making such wonderful HappyDolls, and especially their teacher, Ms. Kapolas, for having us!
Stay tuned! We’ve got more exciting events coming your way…
-Help lift the spirits of children in need by donating to happydoll.org-