Love and Learn Doll Project

This past Saturday, Sept. 17, a special social welfare session was held at the Firestone Park Baptist Church to support the “Love and Learn Doll Project,” which is a program in Akron Public Schools’ “Project RISE.”

The session was developed by Baomei Zhao, a professor in UA’s school of social work, who offers her students service learning opportunities as part of her introductory social welfare course.

Since 1999, the Akron Public Schools’ “Project RISE” has helped children learn school readiness skills through the “Love and Learn Doll Project,” which creates handmade items such as dolls, quilts, and tote bags that are distributed at local homeless shelters by staff and volunteers and are paired with a storybook and an educational activity guide.  

Among those who attended Saturday’s session was social work student Clarissa Santana, who made it a family affair. Santana brought her husband David and three daughters to the session, who said they had an enjoyable time making dolls.

The next sessions will be on Oct. 15 and then Nov. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Firestone Park Baptist Church on Wilbeth Road here in Akron. Anyone is welcome to participate.