By PR Newswire
American Girl is ringing in the New Year with the debut of Gabriela McBride, the company’s new 2017 Girl of the Year. She was debuted earlier this morning on Good Morning America to a crowd of happy little girls who each received a free Gabriela of their own.
The feedback on the American Girl Facebook announcement was generally positive and the primary criticism was not about the fact the doll is an African American. Instead the parents were disappointed that again she is a dancer with several comments requesting a young girl interested in science, farming or animals.
She is described as a true creative talent who uses the power of poetry to help her break down barriers and overcome a personal challenge with stuttering. Gabriela comes to life for girls via a beautiful 18-inch Gabriela doll featuring curly dark-brown hair and warm brown eyes, an exclusive outfit that reflects her creative side, and a book chronicling her story.
Gabriela’s story will be told in a series of three books published by Scholastic and written by Teresa E. Harris. The first book Gabriela, hits shelves in January and tells the story of a quiet and creative girl growing up in a family of artists. Gabriela inherited a love of the arts from her parents, especially her mother, but spoken word poetry is becoming her own passion.
Although Gabriela often finds herself in a battle with her own words because of her stuttering, she discovers that her poetry, filled with wit and honesty, helps her speech flow more easily and gives her the confidence to find her voice to help save her beloved community arts center from being torn down.
To connect both boys and girls with Gabby’s inspiring message, American Girl and Scholastic are partnering 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
Other Gabby-related initiatives being held throughout the year include the following:
Gabriela Online Play: Girls can visit the Gabby-dedicated site at americangirl.com/girloftheyear for free book excerpts, videos, activities, wallpaper and e-cards, and much more.
Gabriela Retail Events: On January 1, American Girl stores are hosting Gabriela’s Debut Event, where girls will get a first look at her full product collection, plus enjoy in-store activities, colorful crafts, giveaways, and a fun photo opportunity. For more details on the in-store events, visit americangirl.com/stores.
The Gabriela collection is available on January 1, 2017, through American Girl’s catalogue; at americangirl.com and all American Girl retail locations nationwide; also at Toys “R” Us stores starting in March.
To learn more about Gabriela and the Girl of the Year line, go to americangirl.com, Facebook at facebook.com/americangirl, Twitter at twitter.com/american_girl, Pinterest at pinterest.com/agofficial, and American Girl’s Instagram page at instagram.com/americangirlbrand