Saturday, December 13, 2014

(non) American Girl Girl ~ the reward

The email exchange was as such:
Hi Ann, 
We are ready to return our girls. Would you like for me to take another batch of 10?
Hi Ranya,
You’re incredible. Yes, it would be so helpful if you and your daughter wanted to take another 10.  When will you be coming in? I’ll be sure to leave the dolls in my cubicle for you.
Also, I’d like your daughter to get some gift books as a thank you for how she’s helped us with the Doll Program. Let me know if there’s a time during the week that she can come in and look through our gift books.
Thank you so much for helping us!
Youth Collections Librarian

And with that the next batch of girls came home, and with them an "extra" for Jannah-Rae.

When we started the project, we didn't expect anything in return. The dolls were special in their own right and the chance to play with so many at one time, was enough to put a bounce in Jannah-Rae's step. To be able to tell her friends she had TEN American Girl dolls and was getting more made her feel special and proud. She would tell the story of her assisting the library at school during lunch and receive encouragement from her teachers. So when Ann offered us some gift books in exchange for her "services", JR was thrilled. Now her story expanded to include the part about the gift; "and I am getting gifts from the library, too!"

It is a wonderful thing to be able to help out; and that is the important lesson I want JR to learn. To be part of something with ripple effects whether it's cleaning dolls, giving away old clothes, or donating money to a good cause is a gain in itself . But to receive a gift in return, to be recognized, to be sincerely thanked, adds a whole new meaning and a whole new feel-good feeling to the deed, and a sense of pride and added motivation in a little girl.

To some it might be just books, but to JR they were a badge of distinction. They were "special" books that she could keep. She did not have to renew them, she did not have to return them. She made sure she was clear on that before making her selection. She stood in front of the shelves and asked to be directed to the exact ones from which she could choose. She paid careful attention and took her time picking out just the right ones. Once she had selected a couple for herself, she also made sure her brother got some too. She beamed from ear to ear as she carried them back to the car and didn't want anyone to help her with the load. She immediately gave Yousef his and proceeded to tell him how she had attained them. He smiled in return and happily accepted the gift. It was a proud mommy moment.

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