American Girl’s girl of the year doll for 2017 is a poet and dancer named Gabriela McBride, who uses the two art forms to help overcome her stuttering. Gabriela is the newest doll in American Girl’s line of dolls, which depicts girls of diverse backgrounds and interests. The 18-inch doll, which has brown eyes and curly dark brown hair, launched in stores and online on Jan. 1st.
Gabriela comes with a book and performance-inspired outfits, plus a microphone and pretend headphones. Additional Gabriela products and books will be available starting in spring 2017, per American Girl. A series of three books about Gabriela, written by Teresa E. Harris, follows Gabriela as she grows up in a family of artists and finds her voice through poetry, which helps her save her beloved community arts center from destruction.
There are three things that make the Gabriela doll so amazing:
- Gabriela is Creative: As a poet, the doll is giving girls and opportunity to tap into their creative instincts.
- Gabriela has Style: Her outfits and style were deliberately chosen to display her creative style and diversity.
- Gabriela is Unique: Children from all cultures and backgrounds can identify with the creative aspect of Gabriela. Her accessories have a variety of flavor that allows for children to create their own poems and music. While using her accessories, they can imagine themselves as artists and poets as well.
In addition to the books and doll, American Girl is collaborating with Scholastic to release a curriculum program, Express Yourself, to teach poetry to students. The program will feature a poetry contest for kids to celebrate National Poetry Month in April.
To connect both boys and girls with Gabby’s inspiring message, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and leader in comprehensive educational materials, to create and distribute Express Yourself, a custom curriculum program that teaches 3rd-5th grade students how to use poetry as a tool for self-expression. The free materials will be available on www.scholastic.com starting March 1, 2017, and include teacher lessons and corresponding classroom activities, a poetry poster, plus parent tips and learning ideas to do at home. In addition, to celebrate National Poetry Month, the program also features a poetry contest for students that will run throughout the month of April. The Express Yourself program will encourage all students to find their creative voices and share their own personal stories, while building confidence along the way.
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