Senmaya Elementary School


Elizabeth is a special gift sent in June 2002 by the students of South River Elementary School in Marshfield, Massachusetts, to the students of Senmaya Elementary School in Iwate Prefecture. Barbara Roth, third-grade teacher at the school, organized the activities related to sending a doll to Japan.

Barbara found out that a church in Marshfield had sent a Friendship Doll named Betty to Senmaya in 1927, so she became interested in doing something to establish a relationship with Senmaya Elementary School. She did some research about Betty, and she found out that Marshfield and Senmaya had a close relationship as a result of mutual visits and exchanges of gifts. Barbara hoped to build on the foundation of these past friendships.

The children at South River Elementary School prepared messages written in Japanese characters for the students in Senmaya. During the art classes of Ms. Parsons, the students wrote by hand the following words in Japanese, "Greetings. I am your American friend." Each student drew a border around the message. The border included illustrations of the student's favorite things.

Elizabeth's Card
A card with Elizabeth's photo (at left) also was given to the students in Senmaya. The Japanese characters for peace (heiwa) were handwritten on the front of the card.

Prior to Elizabeth going to Japan, Barbara's third-grade students enjoyed learning about Japan and its culture when they received a visit in late May 2002 from Noriko Gordon, who taught kindergarten in Japan for several years and now lives in Connecticut. Noriko asked the students about their opinions on whether certain items are found in Japan, America, or both. She also gave demonstrations of Japanese calligraphy and flower arrangement. The students had an opportunity to make origami balloons and to listen to a Japanese folk tale told through the use of story cards.

On June 24, Barbara and her daughter Melinda traveled to Japan and visited Senmaya Elementary School to present Elizabeth and to deliver a message of friendship and peace to the children there.

Ballot Box
All of the students at South River Elementary School had an opportunity to vote on the name of the doll sent to Senmaya. Mrs. Carriere, the librarian at South River, told students during library period about the doll and the history of the Friendship Dolls. She then distributed to each student a ballot that listed about 30 common girl names. After the students completed their ballots, they put them in the ballot box shown at right.

When a 6th-grade boy at Senmaya received Elizabeth at the presentation ceremony, he said, "Thank you very much for coming such a long way from America. We sincerely want Japan and America to be good friends." 

Betty - Blue-eyed Doll
Friendship Visit on June 24, 2002

Return to American Blue-eyed Dolls - New Dolls

Special thanks to Barbara Roth for the material used to create this web page.

Main Page | 1927 Doll Exchange | Japanese Friendship Dolls | American Blue-eyed Dolls
Mass Media / Books / Films | Letters
Other Friendship Doll Programs | Teachers' Corner
Links | Recent Changes | Acknowledgements
| Children's Page