Clark County libraries’ American Girl dolls teach history

As Alexa and her sister Olivia shyly played among peers at Windmill Library on a recent Thursday, they clung tightly to two American Girl dolls clothed in garments from bygone eras.

“This made their day,” their mother, Meghan Plackemeier, said. “We didn’t know this program existed. We were here for story time for my youngest daughter and we saw a doll on the shelf. She already knew her name. They have an Amazon Prime series where they make movies out of these dolls. They’re so excited.”

The dolls are part of a toy-lending program created by the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District to offer an alternative way to learn — through play. The district purchased about 200 American Girl dolls for distribution at 19 branches. Branches carry dolls for on-site play while offering a checkout system so kids can enjoy them at home.

“Anyone with a library card in good standing can come and ask at their young people’s library desk if they have dolls available,” said Rebecca Colbert, head of collections and bibliographic services for the library district. “When you check it out, you get it for three weeks at a time and you get the chance to renew once.”

The dolls cover a wide range of cultural and historical backgrounds, each with its own personality profile. Each loaned doll comes with a book detailing its story and the era it represents, along with a backpack carrier in which it can be transported.

“If you hand a kid a book and say, ‘Here’s the story of Addie and she lived in the Civil War,’ they don’t care,” Colbert said. “But if you hand them a doll with the book, they want to know more. They want to know about Addie’s life.”

The program is aimed at educating children about diverse cultural backgrounds, Colbert said.

Each doll is new, costing about $150, she said. Some branches are working on additional programs involving the dolls, including a “come read to your doll” day.

Shana Harrington, youth services manager at the library district, said she’d like to see the program move beyond toys and dolls at all branches to items that can help parents engage and teach their children.

“When children are encouraged to read aloud in a nonjudgmental environment, they gain confidence,” she said. “Confidence turns into better reading skills. We have a similar program called Reading Buddies, where kids read to a trained teen volunteer. They experience an environment that is safe.”

Contact Mia Sims at msims@reviewjournal.com. Follow @miasims___ on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Lights FC coach Eric Wynalda lost his home in California wildfire
Eric Wynalda, coach of the Las Vegas Lights FC soccer team, talks about losing his home in the deadly California wildfires during an interview in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 17, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Women face issues from Essure birth control implants
DeVonna "Kat" Normand said she had complications from the Essure birth control implants. Normand uses her Sin City Heat show at 22.3 TakeOver Vegas Radio internet radio station in Las Vegas as a platform to raise awareness about Essure and connect with other women who have used the device. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Truancy and Clark County schools
Tony Stark, one of 23 attendance officers with the Clark County School District, have a tall order tracking down students who aren't in school.
North Las Vegas Water Meters
Randy DeVaul shows off the new water meters that the city is installing.
Project 150 Thanksgiving 2018
About 100 volunteers for Project 150 box Thanksgiving meals for high school students and their families in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Three Square’s Maurice Johnson Talks About Food Waste
Three Square’s director of operations Maurice Johnson talks about food waste.
Parade preparation nears completion
Downtown Summerlin prepares for its annual holiday parade.
Clark County Wetlands promotes 2019 Wetland Walker Program
This year the park will be celebrating the Northern Flicker. The program is designed to teach about that bird, and encourage people to visit the Wetlands and walk the same distance the bird migrates each year.
Poet’s Walk Henderson introduces storytelling
Residents enjoy a storytelling activity.
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like