Meet Kira Bailey: 2021 American Girl of the Year

American girl doll Kira Bailey

American Girl fans rejoiced as they met the 2021 Girl of the Year, Kira Bailey. Kira is a nurturing and inquisitive 10-year-old from Michigan who cares deeply for animals and the environment. Kids of all ages will love that Kira helps keep our environment and its wildlife healthy and that we can do the same! And they will love her koala, kangaroos, and wombats, too!

Kira joins American Girl’s line of contemporary characters that inspires children to make a positive difference in the world. American Girl shared that in her story, “whether Kira is caring for an orphaned koala joey or facing a bushfire that’s threatening her great-aunts’ wildlife sanctuary in Australia, she confronts critical ecological issues, such as wildlife protection and the threat of climate change, that are more relevant to our planet than ever.” 

kids playing with american girl doll

In honor of Kira, American Girl is partnering with NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service, Inc. (WIRES). Through December 30, 2021, American Girl is supporting the organization’s mission to rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife by matching customer donations dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $25,000.

Kira has green eyes and long, wavy blonde hair, and arrives ready for the great outdoors and great adventure, sporting a tie-dye tank, sporty skort, and lace-up boots perfect for bushwalking. Kira’s signature accessories are sure to be a must-have and feature an outdoor backpack with koala keychain and a wide-brimmed hat to protect her from the Australian sun. 

Kira Bailey American Girl Doll

American Girl fans will be delighted that there is already a full line of Kira products to shop from, including Australian-inspired outfits, girl-and-doll koala PJs, as well as adorable plush animals like a kangaroo and joey, koala, and a wombat (part of Kira’s Wildlife Rescue Set). There’s also Kira’s Animal Exam Table and Comfy Platform Tent to further power girls’ imaginations.

There are two books to read all about Kira’s adventures down under as well Love the Earth, a fully-illustrated, nonfiction advice book that helps readers understand climate change and offers tips and tools for living an earth-friendly life. 

The Kira collection is available at americangirl.com and at all American Girl retail locations nationwide.

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Child's Play NY Virtual Classes

<p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f0d8558c-7fff-41d5-daea-321d9ce61efc" style="white-space: normal; font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Child's Play NY is a Brooklyn-based company founded in 2009, committed to offering a diverse array of theater arts classes for children. They believe studying the art of acting encourages kids to be even more creative, collaborative and compassionate human beings. Since its inception, Child's Play NY has touched the lives of hundreds of students, worked inside dozens of schools and is consistently ranked as among the top theater arts programs. </span></span></span><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap;">It is the 2019 winner of Brooklyn Family's Choice award for Best Performing Arts Class.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall/Winter 2020-21 Virtual Class Guide</span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">:</span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Make a Movie Class</span></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Experience creative fulfillment and movie magic with Child’s Play NY! Kids get to make and star in their own film, with professional actors, directors and designers. From development to design to editing choices too, kids can take ownership over the creative process. Their friends and family get to celebrate their accomplishments at a final watch party premiere! Deep project-based learning and peer-connection is at the heart of this 9-week experience which can be done remotely or in-person.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall and Winter Virtual Classes</span></strong></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-left: 36pt; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><strong>Hogwarts School (grades 1-3)</strong>: Come get sorted into your favorite house, jump on your Firebolt and let’s make some magic! Class culminates in a movie montage featuring our original scripted work from the session.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Create Your Own Class</span></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Make your own custom group to support social-emotional growth and play. Child’s Play NY provides a dynamic teacher and their lauded curriculum that puts peer-interaction at the front and center. Custom classes are a special way to nurture what your child loves most and share that excitement with their friends, in-person or online.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Playwriting (Grades 4-6)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Students will use their creativity, compassion and confidence to build a story they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Individually, each student will craft a play, and together they will workshop their scenes, exercising their acting, directing, and most importantly, imagination skills. Over the course of the sessions, students will learn the basics of playwriting and be able to present any and all parts of their theatrical story. All classes will include individual assignments and collaborative opportunities. Each day will be structured so that all participants have the chance to learn and study other writers’ work, write for 10-15 minutes and share their words with each other. By the end of the semester they will have used their bodies, intellect and imagination to come up with an original play. By being confident, vulnerable and creative with each other and actively supporting and encouraging each other’s work, students will emerge with meaningful connections to each other and a strong sense of their writing and collaborative abilities.<br />Class culminates in a montage and packet of students’ original work.<strong><br /></strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Musical Theater Lab (Grades 4-6)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Learn how to be a triple threat in this dynamic class for budding performers with Child’s Play NY. Students focus on songs, dances and characters from Broadway’s most celebrated and kid-friendly shows. They work alongside professional performers with years of experience bringing their passion to children. Class culminates in a movie showcase of scenes and songs.<br />Join for the full session, or enroll as a drop-in!<strong><br /></strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Shakespeare Scene Study (Grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Young people become confident with Shakespeare’s world, language and characters as they learn how to interpret a role with technique and courage. Classically trained professional actors assist the players in their physical, vocal and emotional transformations. All Shakespeare teaching artists are classically trained professional actors and have performed Shakespeare both on and off Broadway and in regional theaters across the country.</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Students jump into the worlds of Shakespeare in this robust mash-up of improvisation and classic text scene study class. After learning the plot and characters from several plays, they rehearse and memorize scenes from the original text. New material, devised by the cast, adds a contemporary through-line to their show and highlights the universality of Shakespeare’s themes.<br />Class culminates in a movie showcasing their work.</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>The Big Twist: A New Musical (Grade 1-4)</strong></div> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">In this acting class, students get to perform a brand new musical based on The Wizard of Oz.<br />The Wicked Witch of the South wants to return Oz to a time when WITCHES reigned supreme, and all was evil. Summoning a dark magic Tornado, the Wicked Witch of the South sends Oz hurtling into an alternate Oz. With the Yellow Brick road destroyed, the Wizard left powerless, and the citizens of Oz scattered to the Wind, our heroes are forced into unlikely partnerships to stop the Witch and restore the world to order. The Wizard of Oz meets The Tempest.  Class culminates in a premiere of a movie starring the students, filmed over the last few days of the session.</div> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-57c50323-7fff-79ce-175a-5e25408c0e29"></span></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-84ebe141-7fff-03c2-24cf-fead86e88df2"></span></p>

Young Actors at Strasberg

<p>Young Actors at Strasberg offers a comprehensive array of acting programs for students in grades 2 – 12. Classes provide kids and teens with a foundation in Lee Strasberg's Method Acting and the tools to succeed in the professional industry – all while maintaining a fun and playful environment. Programs are tailored to encompass students at all levels, from those just beginning their acting journey to Broadway veterans and professional child actors. Young Actors at Strasberg alumni include Lady Gaga, Sophia Lillis, Angelina Jolie, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Rosario Dawson!</p> <p>Young Actors Programs are available online and in-person at our New York Campus, located in Union Square. Saturday, After-School and Online classes are offered during the traditional school year (Fall, Winter, and Spring) and Monday through Friday day camps and intensives are held in July and August.</p> <p><strong>About The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute:</strong></p> <p>Founded in 1969 by Lee and Anna Strasberg, The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute is the only school that teaches Lee Strasberg's work in its complete and authentic form. The Institute's goal is to provide students with a craft that will help them create a reality and respond truthfully in imaginary circumstances, regardless of the style or form of material being used. LSTFI is proud to have award-winning alumni from around the world working as writers, directors, and actors in all mediums.</p>

Speakitaly NYC

<p>SPEAKITALY NYC offers stimulating and entertaining lessons for children 0 to 16 years through a wide combination of activities based on the communicative approach anchored in the Common European Framework of Reference: active learning (group work, role plays, etc.) and practice exercises aimed to improve listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Kids will start speaking and using Italian in a very natural way.  Small classes capped at 6 students to make sure each one gets the needed attention and facilitate learners' progress. </p> <p>Our method is driven by a didactic method that is the result of constant updates, professional certifications and more than 10 years of experience in working with non-native speakers from different native languages and levels of knowledge.</p> <p>Our aim is to develop a range of Italian language skills while improving accuracy that will enable the students and participants to interact without stress or feeling rushed. We want to help those in the community really embrace not only the true culture in Italy but the Italian culture within New York City… Who doesn’t love what Italy represents in the kitchen, in history & in the arts?</p> <p>Speakitaly wants to support multilingual families who want to learn a new language or pass along their ancestor’s heritage and culture. Raffaella, the founder said: "We see language awareness and intercultural sensitivity as the milestones for an inclusive society. Italian, like all other languages, is an enrichment and a growth in every way. Vi aspettiamo!"</p>