Photo caption: After a two-year Covid hiatus, families indulged in canapés, tea, cake, free plants, a book signing and new dolls with the American Girl Doll collection thanks to the San Bernardino City Library Foundation. The young ladies are ready to cut into the special cake for the American Girl Doll Tea Party.
(San Bernardino, Calif.) More than 110, daughters, sons, granddaughters, parents, and grandparents from throughout the Inland Empire enjoyed canapés, tea, and cake at the first American Girl Doll “Tea Party” in two years, thanks to the San Bernardino City Library Foundation.
The multi-generational American Girl Doll Tea Party took place recently at Dr. Mildred Dalton Henry Elementary School, complete with a book signing from the school’s namesake and author Dr. Mildred Dalton Henry herself.
In opening his school to host the Tea Party, Dr. Christopher Tickell, Principal said he plans to make this a signature event of his school for the foreseeable future. “ I was so excited to be a part of such an amazing event. To see so many people working so hard together to make something special for our community. I look forward to hosting this tea again and again and again.”
San Bernadino City Library Director Ed Erjavek, and Library Foundation President Arlington Rodgers, Jr., welcomed the families to the celebration. San Bernardino City Council member Kimberley Calvin, and School Board member Dr. Gwen Dowdy Rodgers joined the festivities.
Families—complete with fathers, mothers, and grandparents—came from San Bernardino, Riverside, Rialto, Hesperia, Redlands, and Rancho Cucamonga to attend the American Girl Tea Party in San Bernadino. Four children won American Girl Dolls and books in the event’s free raffle.
Cheryl Brown former Assemblymember (retired) and San Bernardino City Library Foundation Board member and committee chairperson and President Arlington Rodgers, Jr., served as emcees and led the afternoon with information, food, and fun.
Canapés and tea were served by youth and adult volunteers including Black Voice newspaper publisher Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds, Jordan and Peyton Brown, Isabell and Olivia Lee ,San Bernardino City Library Foundation board members Mary Kay DeCrescenzo, Vice President, Operations, Debra A. Fields, Secretary, and Arlington Rodgers, Jr., President. The annual event attracts children and their parents from the Greater San Bernardino Area.
Lynn Summers presented the University of California’s local Master Gardener/Master Food Preserver program members who taught the children the oldest secrets on food preservation, making seed paper, pickled vegetables and gave all participants free milkweed plants.
Milkweed plants are the favorite food of Monarch butterflies. The children were asked to plant them to draw butterflies to their yards and help renew the butterfly population.
Angela Encinas , Children’s Librarian described how The San Bernardino City Library allows children to check out an American Girl Doll kit. It includes ethnically diverse dolls, a carrying case, accessories, a book about the doll and a journal. Children checking out the dolls are encouraged to write about their playing with the dolls in a journal. She included a reading of one of the journal pages and the author was in the audience, imagine the surprise on her face after hearing her words two years after she wrote them.
“Another great success of the day included The Girls Scouts obtaining enough sign-ups to start a new Girl Scout Troop in the Mt. Vernon area, the first new one in many years,” said Knea Hawley, Girl Scout executive.
The doll collection and the annual tea are both made possible thanks to the generous support of the people and organizations of San Bernardino that take delight in giving children entertaining educational experiences.
Foundation President Arlington Rodgers says, “Our deepest gratitude to our generous Foundation Partners who made the afternoon tea possible: Dr. Christopher Tickell, the Irvine Foundation, Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds, the University of California Cooperative, Extension Master Food Preservers and Master Gardeners of San Bernardino, the Westside Action Group, Mary Kay DeCrescenzo, Debra Fields, Edison International, Amazon, the Inland Empire Community Foundation, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Friends of the Library, Johnnie Ralph, Shelby Obershaw, Dameron Communications and Evy Morales.
Planning for next year’s American Girl Tea Party begins next week. If you are interested in joining the planning, please call Stacy at (909) 381-8211.
The mission of the San Bernardino City Library Foundation is to make sure that our public libraries continue to be places where everyone in the community can gather, learn, grow, and interact.
Since 1995, the San Bernardino City Library Foundation has provided the San Bernardino Public Library system with the financial support it needs to provide new books for patrons, offer free tutoring for all academic levels, provide patrons with access to e-books and audiobooks, and provide innovative programs like a Makerspace and the American Girl Doll program.
Board members include Arlington Rodgers, Jr., President; Cheryl R. Brown, Vice President, Community Relations; Mary Kay DeCrescenzo, Vice President, Operations; Debra A. Fields, Secretary, Dr. Chris Tickell, Treasurer Evy Morales and Timothy Prince, Directors.