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Mattel Launches New “Play it Forward” Line

Mattel Launches New

On April 29,2020, Mattel toy company announced in a news release its newest line of merchandise as part of its “Play it Forward” platform. The special edition line includes action figures and Little People Community Champions and will eventually spread into the company’s other brands. 

Mattel is a worldwide entertainment company that produces toys and products for children of all ages and was founded in 1945. Their brands include but are not limited to Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels®, and American Girl®. The company produces film, television shows, toys, games, music, and live events working in collaboration with leading technology and retail companies. 

Their newest line of toys is labeled “#ThankYouHeroes” and is “designed to immortalize and honor healthcare and everyday heroes” according to Chuck Scothon, Senior Vice President of Fisher-Price and Global Head of Infant and Preschool, Mattel. He states that it is the companies hope that these toys help make these hard times easier for both children and adults, whether it is a “gift to recognize someone working on the front lines” or just play time.

The line includes 16 different figures ranging from doctors to delivery drivers. Mattel is also releasing a special five-character Little People set that includes a doctor, nurse, EMT, delivery driver, and grocery store workers.

The new line of toys is also a fundraiser for the “#FirstRespondersFirst” program, a program administered by The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF). The #FirstRespondersFirst program is helping to a provide range of things from essential protective equipment for healthcare workers, to childcare and mental health support. Beginning April 29th through May 31st, 2020, $15 from each online purchase will be donated by Mattel to The Entertainment Industry Foundation in support of the fundraiser.

According to the news release, in addition to the launch of the #ThankYouHeroes toys, the company is also contributing to the fight against COVID-19 by donating face shields and cloth face masks for medical professionals. The company is producing 500,000 face shields for healthcare workers, a large increase from the original 100,000 commitment.

They are also making toy donations to several non-profits and Bright Horizons Child Care Centers, special childcare hubs offering free childcare for children of frontline healthcare workers. The company has also launched its Mattel Playroom, a free online resource for parents and caregivers providing activities from the company’s iconic brands.

The line of toys is available for pre-order through May 31st, 2020 at “http://MattelPlayroom.com/ThankYouHeroes” for $20, with $15 from each purchase being donated. The company expects these to ship to consumers by December 31st,2020. 

 

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Senior Restores a Family Memory

Senior+Seth+Russell

Senior Seth Russell

When it comes to outside of school activities, many students choose to play a sport or join a club. Durant senior, Seth Russell, however, has a totally unique extracurricular hobby. Russell is currently in the process of designing and restoring a car that once belonged to his grandfather.

It all began with his grandfather. Russell has many fond memories of riding around with his grandfather in the car. Now, years later, Russell is restoring the car to return it to its former glory. “They say it’s just a car; I say it’s rolling memories,” stated Russell.

Russell has inherited the car from his grandfather and plans to not only restore it, but to also improve it. When asked in an interview regarding the name of the vehicle, he claimed that he wanted something that sounded aggressive, but did not want it to be something unoriginal. The name he chose, “Veleno,” came from the Italian word for poison, or venom.

After deciding the name of the car, Russell moved on to the design stage. The design of the car was based off of a wide body 2020 Corvette mixed with a wide body McLaren. The time frame for the body work to begin on the car is before Russell leaves for his summer bootcamp. Russell is enlisting into the United States Marines and wants to get the process moving before he leaves this summer.

Russell finds all his pieces and supplies from LKQ Pick-Your-Part junkyard located in Tampa, FL. The reason he chooses this particular junkyard is because it’s within his price range and close by. He works part-time at Domino’s Pizza to save up the money he puts into this car. Between working part time at Dominos to earn money and the car itself, Russell has developed a deeper connection to the car than he had before.

Everything that Russell knows about building cars comes from what he has either taught himself or from YouTube. He explains his installation process as “a lot of fabricating and hammering” and uses every possible socket size, engine stand, engine hoist, welder, and jack stand he can get his hands on. He is most excited to install a small block Chevy LS 4.8-liter engine that he plans to use on the car. As for the body of the car, he is self-fabricating each piece out of bondo, which is a car body filler, and fiberglass. He sketches out what he wants the piece to look like and takes it from there.

Once the car is finished Russell plans to submit it into legal street races and car shows. Russell will leave for Basic Training for the Marines in early summer and plans to continue work on the vehicle after he returns. When the vehicle is finished, he is super excited to reveal the finished product to his family, especially his grandfather, so that they can start reliving some old memories.

“Not only have I spent a lot of time in the car, now I’ve also spent my time on the car,” said Russell.

 

 

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Disney Springs Prepares to Reopen

As Florida eases social distancing regulations, Disney Springs will be the first major attraction in Florida to reopen.

Courtesy of Walt Disney

As Florida eases social distancing regulations, Disney Springs will be the first major attraction in Florida to reopen.

On Thursday, May 7, Walt Disney World Company made a statement that they will begin to reopen the Disney Springs shopping center in accordance with the current government and CDC guidelines in place.

The parks had originally closed on March 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as an effort to help flatten the curve and keep guests safe. Late evening on Thursday, the Vice President of Disney Springs Matt Simon announced the partial reopening of Disney Springs. 

The area will begin opening by using a series of phases making sure to keep all cast members, employees, and guests as safe as possible. No word has yet been stated on what exact stores or restaurants will be opening at this time.

The reopening of the springs is scheduled to begin on May 20, 2020, while the rest of the theme parks are currently planning on remaining closed with no plan to reopen in the near future. The initial opening phase will include limitations on capacity, parking, and operating hours. 

The reopening will have new implemented safety measures including increased cleaning procedures, face coverings required by members of the cast and the visiting guests, and limited contact with guest services. Cast members will be required to attend additional safety training to help prepare for the reopening and return to work.

Simon states that the company will begin to use “learnings and ideas from leaders in the health and travel industries” and has been communicating with their unions on the proper ways to go about the shopping center’s reopening.

According to FOX 35, the reopening of the center will be partially modeled after the reopening at Shanghai’s Disney Town, a modified version of Disney Springs, which had reopened in early March, and Shanghai’s Disneyland, set to open May 11. 

The measures that were put in place on this park included a limited capacity of 30%, requirements for getting guests temperature checked at all entrances, and mandatory masks to be worn by guests. FOX 35 also states that visitors will be required to pass a health screening via a mobile app.  Many await the results of this opening in hopes of it shortening the timeline of the phases, causing the parks to open quicker.

Disney plans additional information considering procedures and protocols to be announced closer to the opening date. As the date draws closer they recommend checking  DisneySprings.com for more up to date information.

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Local Couple Wins LEGO Masters

Tyler and Amy Clites were the winners of the first season of FOX's LEGO Masters and $100,000.

Courtesy of Geek Tyrant

Tyler and Amy Clites were the winners of the first season of FOX’s LEGO Masters and $100,000.

Wednesday, April 15th local couple Tyler and Amy Clites from Bradenton FL were announced as FOX’s LEGO Masters.

FOX’s “LEGO Masters” is a competition show where teams are eliminated one by one over a span of ten episodes. Teams of two compete in a series of timed challenges creating masterpieces made out of LEGO’s.

Each episode contained its own theme, inspiring builders as they plan their builds. The show is hosted by Will Arnett, voice of Batman in “LEGO Movie”, and judged by “BrickMasters” Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard.. “LEGO Masters” airs each Wednesday on FOX at 9pm.

The winners were announced Wednesday during the final episode after a 24-hour free build challenge. Much to their surprise, Tyler and Amy Clites were declared as this seasons LEGO Masters and received the 100,000-dollar prize. 

During an interview with FOX News’ Charlie Belcher, the couple explained their excitement upon receiving this honor. They state that as they were standing there before the judges, they were mentally rehearsing their second-place speech, expecting not to win. Amy states that as she heard her named called by the “BrickMasters”, she felt that it “stopped her heart completely”. Tyler explains similar emotions stating that he was “just blown away” after hearing they had won. 

They also explained the difficulty of keeping this secret until the episode had aired, since it was filmed ahead of time. Amy explains this was always causing them to think about who they were with, who knew, and who did not.  They say that they had to live in balance and learn to be mindful of their conversations and who they are with. 

As the couple readjust to life at home, they share their plans for what they plan to use their prize money on. They explain on the show and in the interview that they are currently renting, and the space has become too small for them, especially with a baby on the way. After joking about going to Vegas, they state how they are planning on buying a bigger home for themselves and preparing for their baby boy coming this summer.

The couple talks about how all the time they spent building with LEGOS had prepared them for the show, and now they don’t exactly know what is next for their family, but it will definitely be including LEGOS. The show has announced that it will be returning for another season with new contestants and challenges and is currently casting at http://legomasters.tv/.

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

N.C.A.A. Extends Eligibility for College Seniors

Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, all spring sports seasons were suspended due to public health concerns.

Courtesy of AP News

Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, all spring sports seasons were suspended due to public health concerns.

On March 12 many college spring sports teams were devastated to find out that the rest of their senior season was canceled and had come to an end. However, this feeling was partially lifted Monday, March 30, when the N.C.A.A. Division 1 Council announced that seniors athletes of all spring sports would have another year of eligibility due to their seasons being cut short. 

Even with this exciting news, there are still many restrictions on athlete eligibility. Individual universities and conferences will make the decision on whether to welcome athletes back or not. The Ivy League conference announced on Thursday, April 2 that extended eligibility went against the league’s current policies. 

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the League made the following statement regarding the decision. “Existing eligibility policies will remain in place, including its longstanding practice that athletic opportunities are for undergraduates.”

Even with the given opportunity, some seniors have decided that they do not want to return, regardless of whether their college allows it or not. According to the New York Times, Molly Milligan, a senior rower undergraduate at Penn State, decided she will not return if given the opportunity. 

She plans to be a graduate assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin while earning her master’s degree. She made the following statement regarding this decision. “The trauma of the past two weeks was really challenging to deal with. It is hard now going back to change that mind-set”

Some restrictions on whether the athletes will return are strictly financial. Schools only have a limited number of scholarships they can give out among the teams, and with the combination of incoming freshmen, transfer students, and seniors staying behind, it might be more than the school can handle. 

According to the New York Times, each team has a limited number of scholarships they can give out. Andy Fee, the athletic director at Long Beach State, made a statement regarding this saying that he feels that in today’s current world, its money [universities] just don’t have. Each school only has a certain amount of scholarships that it can give out to players.

But there is still hope for current athletes. Colleges along with the N.C.A.A. have announced that they plan to extend the rosters to make room for both the incoming recruits and seniors staying behind, this way the coaches of the teams will not have to worry about making cuts on recruits already designated to join the team. 

Time will tell how each college will respond to these announcements. During times like this it is important to hang on to as much normalcy as possible. This opportunity will allow seniors the chance to complete their senior seasons in the way they have always hoped for.

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Sherman Wins Advisor of the Year

Sherman poses with her award. She was grateful to recieve the honor.

Durant FBLA

Sherman poses with her award. She was grateful to recieve the honor.

On Wednesday January 22, the Durant high school’s Future Business Leaders of America, FBLA, club attended their yearly District Leadership Conference. This event is attended by all FBLA middle school and high school level chapters in District 9.

During the event the students participate in games, elect officers for their district, and announce who placed in the different competitive events. Twenty-four students in the club placed either first, second, or third in their events or competitions and will move on to states. 

Sherman, the club sponsor and advisor for Durant High School, was announced as “Advisor of the Year” for District 9. This information was announced during the awards portion of the event. Her first reaction when she received the award was,

“I was absolutely shocked, I had no idea I was going to be selected as the Advisor of the Year, and I think I turned bright red”.

Due to her job as a business teacher, she was already linked to the club when she began her job here at Durant, however, it was during her second year when she became an advisor to the club. Her role as advisor includes responsibilities such as making sure dues are payed on time, making sure club officers complete task in a timely manner, registering members for different events, organizing field trips, and making sure students are properly prepared for their competition or event.

Sherman came to Durant in 2017. Before working as a business teacher, she worked for the “Paralyzed Veterans of America” in California. This is a veterans’ service organization that was founded in the United States in 1946.

Looking back, Sherman describes one of her favorite FBLA memories being when she attended her first year with the team at states. On the last night of the event, the students all surprised her with meaningful gifts as a way of saying thank you to their new advisor. One particular gift that really touched Sherman was a stuffed banana, a reminder of the banana splits the team had shared the night before. Sherman believed the gift was a meaningful gesture.

Not only is the club a fun way to get involved, but Sherman also talks about how FBLA has benefitted her teaching career as well.  She explains it as a way to help connect the stuff she teaches in her classes to the outside world. She also explained in an interview how students who are serious about the club can carry on to the collegiate version of FBLA.

The title of “Advisor of the Year” has helped Sherman realize that the work she puts into the club is impacting so many more people than just her students. It helps her understand that her hard work is being recognized and appreciated on a higher level.

The students who placed in the districts will move on to the State Leadership Conference which will be taking place in Orlando in March.

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Australia fires continue despite relief efforts

The+Austrailian+fires+burned+violently+for+several+days%2C+although+the+conditions+have+improved%2C+more+work+needs+to+be+done.

Rick Rycraft

The Austrailian fires burned violently for several days, although the conditions have improved, more work needs to be done.

After the recent rain and decrease in temperature, attention towards Australia has died down, but it is still an important issue. These fires are still burning and continue to harm the animals and the people who live there. Almost half a billion animals have died and according to the Wall Street Journal, 26 people have died in the fires and many more have had to be relocated. However, many people and organizations, are pooling their resources to try and help as much as possible.

The Australian Red Cross is one of these organizations. The organization has sent teams across the country to help with evacuation and relief. Some of these stations include New South Wales, Victoria, and many more throughout South and Western Australia providing food, water, hygiene products, pet supplies, and much more. In some areas, mainly South Australia, the are psychological first aid for those who need it.

The Red Cross has also set up a way to provide grants to families whose main place of residence has been destroyed. The donations to the organization, are being used for helping people who have been affected. The website declares that all money and funds donated to Disaster Relief and Recovery from July 2019 solely be used towards the work to help those in Australia.

Some ways to help are happening right here in the states. Owen Colley is a 6 year-old boy who uses his connection to Australia to inspire him to help.  Colley is from Hingham, Massachusetts and when he heard about the fires that were happening, it hit home for him. His father, Simon Colley, is from Australia. According to CNN, Colley and his parents worked together to come up with a way to raise money for those affected. Owen began making clay koalas to give to people who would donate to the cause. People who donate $50 or more receive a little clay koala Colley made himself.

All proceeds go towards Wildlife Rescue South Coast, a wildlife rescue in New South Wales. They began with a fundraising goal of 1,000. However, as of Thursday, January 16th, they have raised 100,000 dollars. The family is looking into more ways to donate to other organizations in the country of Australia.

Many people are also coming together to try and rescue the animals still in harms way. One group put their effort towards Kangaroo Island. According to the Los Angeles Times, the 1,700-square-mile island is not only a popular tourist attraction, but also a wildlife preserve to multiple species.

It is run by Sam Mitchell and his wife Dana. With the fires overrunning almost half of the island, they are trying to save as many animals as possible. According to BBC, Mitchell and his team have set up makeshift clinics on a area of the outside grounds with volunteers trying to save as many animals as possible.

The injured koalas are brought in daily, some too badly injured to be saved. The park is running entirely on generators because the fires have destroyed the power lines. The clinic has run out of space for all the animals they are trying to treat so they are having to create alternative housing, like laundry baskets, to hold the koalas. Mitchell and his family have also started a GoFundMe campaign to help their efforts in saving the animals that live here. “[We want] to get them back to where they want to be – and that’s back in the trees.”

Many volunteers are still trying to do the best possible for these koalas.

Even though it has began to rain, many more fires are still happening. There are multiple places online to donate to organizations trying to make a positive impact on a bad situation. The dry season isn’t over and many worry there is worse to come. For more information on how to make an impact please contact the Durant Pawprint.

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Cell phones have a variety of potential dangers

X-Ray+showing+bone+spur+growing+on+back+of+head%2C+one+of+the+negative+effects+of+excessive+cellphone+usage.

Washington Post

X-Ray showing bone spur growing on back of head, one of the negative effects of excessive cellphone usage.

Each day people across the world consistently check their cell phones, looking at a variety of notifications. Many may not realize how much their cell phones affect them. Recent studies are beginning to show how bone spur development can be an effect of cell phone use.

According to the Washington Post, research done by the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia proposes a new hypothesis that due to the constant use of cell phones and other hand-held devices, a new bone spur, or “horn”, is developing from the skull of young people. The researchers in charge of the study are David Shahar, a chiropractor who recently completed a PhD in biomechanics at Sunshine Coast, and his supervisor, Mark Sayers, an associate professor of biomechanics at Sunshine Coast.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Bone spurs are caused by when inflammation damages cartilage that is used to cushion joints and the body attempts to rebuild by growing more bone. One main cause is when humans perform repetitive motions, like consistently looking down at a phone. By doing this for multiple hours a day, bone spurs begin to grow.

This is not the first physical effect of cell phone use on the body. According to ABC News, Margot Miller, a physical therapist and president of Occupational Health Section of the Orthopedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, states that the reason for “texting thumb” is  “they are really repetitive stress injuries – pain, numbness, discomfort in the base of the thumbs from overuse.”

By consistently using thumbs to send messages and control a phone, symptoms like “texting thumb” may occur.

Another negative aspect of cell phone use is the constant distraction that they cause. According to NBC News’ article “Cell phone-related head and neck injuries on the rise,” a study published by JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery observed reports from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, looking for injuries and reports related to cell phones.

The authors estimated that based on the reports these kinds of issues were rare until 2007, when the first iPhone was released to the public and injury reports began to rise. The article states that users ages 13 to 29 were about 40 percent of those whose injuries were caused by cell phone distraction. The injuries caused ranged from people falling due to texting while walking, to being hit in the face when their device slipped. The author Dr. Boris Paskhover suggest that a way to help this problem is for people to stop allowing phones to be a distraction and focus on what they are doing.

The harmful effects of cell phone use while driving goes past looking at text. According to ABC News, research at Carnegie Mellon University showed that by studying brain waves, they were able to find that listening to a conversation while driving reduces brain activity designated to driving by 37 percent.

The article suggests that in May 2008 a survey done by Nationwide Insurance Poll displayed that over 40 percent of people surveyed stated they have either been hit or almost hit by another driver talking on a cell phone. This is part of the reason many states, including Florida, have required Hands-Free drivers. As of January 1, Florida officers are to issue tickets to any drivers using their phone, without a warning. The fee is $30, but is doubled in school zones.

People spend hours on end each day looking at cell phones, but don’t realize what effects it could be causing on their bodies. As people become more aware, they will be able to protect themselves from these and many more issues.

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

How Dress Codes affect students differently.

Rose Lynn, student at MacArthur High School in Oklahoma making a statement about her school's dress code.

Today News

Rose Lynn, student at MacArthur High School in Oklahoma making a statement about her school’s dress code.

Dress code has been a long-term debate on whether it’s fair and unbiased, and students are beginning
to make their voices heard.Most school dress codes are the same, no tank tops, no shoulders, bottoms be fingertip length, and if you wear leggings, your shirt must cover your butt.

These policies are meant to ensure that there is no disruption to the learning environment, however, this does not seem to be the case for many schools nation-wide. Many students, especially females, are stepping out claiming that dress code policies are biased, sexist, and make them feel as though they are “distractions” instead of students.

This is shared by Oklahoma teen, Rose Lynn, pictured above, in 2015 as reported by Jordi Lippe-McGraw on TODAY. Lynn attends MacArthur High School in Oklahoma. One December morning she went and put on an outfit she believed to be appropriate based on the dress code. This outfit included a loose shirt, lengthy cardigan, and leggings. While at school that day she was sent home for said outfit and told that it was “deemed inappropriate and distracting” as reported by TODAY.

She did not let that stop her, she returned to the school wearing leggings and a lengthy white t-shirt that had stated in black marker ink “It doesn’t cover your crotch, you’ll distract the boys.”

This is what administration said to her before sending her home previously. She then later posted a picture of her outfit on social media along with a paragraph describing what happened and her opinion on the matter, and finished with a statement that read, “So once again, society has failed to advocate for young ladies, by confining them in a box, where they are stripped from their since of self-respect and self-expression.”

She also made claims on how her school is biased saying that is if she was “skin and bones or overweight” she would have been overlooked, but the fact that she is curvy is part of the reason she was singled out. And she isn’t the only teen to claim this.

A middle schooler in Maine has shown her determination in making her voice heard. At the time of the beginning of her movement, Molly Neuner, 11, of Portland, Maine, was sent home multiple times for the clothing she wore after
being told she would be a “distraction” towards males by at least two teachers, as reported by Danielle Waugh of NBC New York. After being told this, she claimed that “It just made [fellow students] feel uncomfortable”.

When she returned home, she discovered a hashtag that would not only inspire her, but many others. She returned to school the next day trying to make a statement. She did this by wearing a spaghetti strap tank top and wrote on her arm the hashtag “#iamnotadistraction.”

After seeing this, many students followed her lead by writing the same hashtags on their arms. After catching
the attention of multiple news outlets, schools began realizing that dress codes may be in need of reviewing.

When asked, Durant students did not hesitate to respond to the questions, “What is your opinion on school dress codes? Do you believe that they are biased or make females feel as they are a distraction?”

Senior Laura Bergman responded with the statement, “It’s stupid and teaches girls and boys to feel uncomfortable in their skin. It also teaches girls and boys what they should sexualize.”

Senior Gabbi Mora gave a similar response, “honestly, school dress code isn’t fair. Some girls show up breaking it every day and aren’t caught, but the second some innocent girl has her fingertips one inch past their shorts, it’s a problem, I don’t think it’s fair whatsoever.”

However, not all students agree with these statements. Emma Adcock, Junior, claims that “I believe if we didn’t have one then girls would be getting pregnant left and right. Dress codes protect both sexes.”

Students at Durant remain on both ends of the spectrum, and hopefully the new policies in place this school year are what we need. By updating the school dress code for the school year of 2019-2020, students can finally come to an agreement on what we need and what is to excessive, making guidelines that keep everyone happy, and no longer cause females to feel as if they are more of a distraction and less of a student.

About the Contributor
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

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