A Doll Collection Gives 2nd Graders Insight about Africa

Ms. Wilma Gerald, a friend of Norfolk Academy, visited some of the second grade classes last week to share her African doll collection.
Ms. Gerald held the boys and girls in rapt attention, as she explained how she developed her doll collection, including her exploration of each doll’s country of origin and culture. She told the students that she did not set out to collect dolls, but during her extensive travels in Africa, she was always taken by the beautiful dolls; she usually ended up bringing one home with her. Gradually, she had acquired an extensive doll collection, along with knowledge to share about the history and culture of the nations that she had visited.

Ms. Gerald's lesson was part of the second graders' morning meetings, in which they were learning about African American History. “We were so fortunate to have Ms. Gerald visit us,” said Mrs. Valerie Thornton, who teaches second grade. “Her doll collection gave the children an opportunity to see beauty outside of the stereotypical image of what is beautiful.  They also gave us an occasion to reflect on the advantages we all derive from the diversity of cultures found in our country.”