Durant High School Journalism

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...

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...

The World Ponders the State of North Korea’s Leader

The+latest+reports+on+North+Korean+leader+Kim+Jong-Un+support+that+he+is+indeed+alive+after+recently+opening+a+fetilizer+plant.

Courtesy of BBC

The latest reports on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un support that he is indeed alive after recently opening a fetilizer plant.

On Sunday, Apr. 26, 2020, TMZ news reported North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong-Un was dead after his heart surgeon accidentally messed up his heart surgery. This led to many reports out on social media saying he was dead. 

It is still uncertain if he is dead or not. Although the New York Post reported that South Korean officials know where Kim Jong Un is located. Unification Minister, Kim Yeon-chul reported that the government is aware of Kim Jong Un’s location. President Trump was also aware of Kim Jong-Un’s condition, but has no knowledge of his location. North Korea will not share the location of Kim Jong-Un at the moment. 

In the event that Kim Jong-Un is dead, his sister, Kim Yo-Jong will take over as North Korea’s Supreme leader. The Supreme leader is the highest position to hold in North Korea. It is important to know if Kim Jong-Un is dead or alive because people don’t know who will be next in line to take over as Supreme leader and how their new policies will be since North Korea has a dictatorship government. 

Kim Yo-Jong would take over for Kim Jong-Un and people are worried that she would be more strict than he was and won’t do as well as Kim Jong Un. There are a lot of rumors going around from many news sites saying Kim Yo-Jung will take over as Supreme leader. 

Most of the world is afraid of North Korea because of the nuclear weapons they have. North Korea does missile testing and it’s scary to other people around the world because they could use it on other countries. 

Kim Jong-Un has not been seen since April 11 and he missed the April 15 commemoration of the 108th birthday of his grandfather and North Korea’s founder, Kim II Sung. The New York Post also reports that Kim Jong-Un may have missed a key holiday on April 15 due to concerns over COVID-19. Kim Jong-Un has been North Korea’s leader since 2011. 

Fox News reported on May 1 that a North Korean lawmaker is 99 percent sure Kim Jong-Un is dead, yet there is no evidence that he is dead. He may be at a resort compound in North Korea after satellite images spotted luxury boats. 

North Korea has also canceled some large events and have imposed a border lockdown in effort to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19. 

A lot of world leaders are paying close attention to this developing story. 

About the Writer
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Jordan Dabbour, Business Manager

Jordan Dabbour is a junior at Durant High School and is Advertising Business Manager for the PawPrint newspaper. He is an avid sports fan, and loves to...

A CW Limited Series Reflects COVID-19 Conditions

Like many CW shows, this one captivates audiences from the start.

Courtesy of the CW

Like many CW shows, this one captivates audiences from the start.

In 2016 the CW aired a show called “Containment,” the show only had one season with 13, 42 minute episodes. The show is based on the Belgian show Cordon that aired in 2014. The show follows the outbreak of a deadly virus in Atlanta, and to limit the spread the CDC sets up a cordon sanitaire. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the series reflects the harsh realities society is dealing with. The show is more enjoyable as the audience can relate to being contained.

There are very few flaws within the show. My biggest grievance with the show is the lack of resolution at the end. Viewers of the show never receive closure for how the epidemic ends or what happens to the characters. While there is an inspirational speech that ends the season, it does not truly resolve anything for the remaining characters. 

My secondary grievance is that some of the science is a little messy. The virus mutates quicker than possible in real life. Within days of the outbreak there are multiple strands of the virus being transmitted. Also, when the show begins experimenting with a cure, the rules of blood transfusions went out the window. To receive a blood transfusion both the donor and the recipient must have the same blood type, otherwise the antibodies will attack the new blood, hurting the recipient rather than helping.

The show does a lot of things very well. The characters are one of the show’s best aspects. There is so much diversity, various races, ages and socio-economic classes represented within the show. The characters are easy to relate to and sympathize with. For example, one of the protagonists, Major Lex Carnahan, is just a police officer trying to do his duties, while dealing with the fact that the love of his life is stuck within the cordon. Many people during social distancing can relate to being separated from loved ones. 

The show also does a good job of showing how the government would handle an epidemic. The government takes the necessary action to prevent the spread of the virus. They kept the cordon up and encouraged isolation, despite the anger of those being quarantined, the government remained firm in their solutions, something our governments can learn from. 

The show also does a wonderful job of showing how dangerous a virus can be. The show takes the time to explain how the virus is spread so easily in an urban society, the show emphasizes the spread of the disease through all bodily fluids. A sneeze or a kiss would be enough to get infected. 

In addition to the transmission, the show explains the origins of the virus and how it was created, but that would be a major spoiler. The origins of the virus, the conspiracy and the truth are both real fears of the government and general public. The virus itself is not a major spoiler, so the virus is a manipulated strand of avian flu. This shows the dangers of manipulating diseases because it could escape and start an epidemic,

While the disease in the show is quite gruesome as the deaths involve blood and whole body tremors, it is still an interesting show that combines sci-fi, romance, action and drama. While not all characters receive happy endings, the show is worth the investment. If you are bored during social distancing, it is one of many CW shows that can be found on Netflix.

About the Writer
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Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Learning Adapts As A Result of COVID-19

Students, teachers and parets are all learning how to cooperate to ensure e-learning goes as smooth as possible.

Students, teachers and parets are all learning how to cooperate to ensure e-learning goes as smooth as possible.

All around the world schools and businesses are being reshaped due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Since schools are being shut down this means that students and teachers are now relying on E-Learning. The most useful ways of communication for teaching are video chats through an application called Zoom and Google Classroom. But there are some downsides to that.

Many students do not have the equipment needed at home to successfully complete their school work.. That’s why some companies are providing laptops and internet to students in need, for example Spectrum internet has a deal for setting up Chromebooks and internet access for school purposes. The outbreak has made rapid technological improvements to the world. With the world of education still shifting to get used to this, there are more opportunities for uses of online resources. 

This is making e-learning more available and to keep students engaged. Since the rest of the school year for most students is canceled, They may consider attending an online college in the future due to getting used to this online learning. It could be more affordable and beneficial for some. For example the University of the People offers 100% online degrees for anyone around the world to obtain. 

Trump has stated that quarantine is extended another 30 days to let this virus wash itself out of our country as everyone is on quarantine. “The safety of students and staff is our number one priority every day in each school” as Elkhorn Crossing School stated.

Most schools were supposed to stay closed until April 15, then May 2, and now completely shut down. More than 50% of the world’s population is online for education. Most countries are now using this education process line any other normal day of learning at school. It may not be as efficient, but it keeps mostly all students engaged in learning. The main reason schools are closed are due to physical contact with other students and teachers everyday.

A big problem in education are kids with special needs. They find it very difficult to concentrate with all this online education being shown to them. They also may need the assistance of their in-school instructor at all times like most of these students need. This difficulty of learning for these students may need a new approach in their capabilities in learning.

When this Covid-19 pandemic starts to settle down the world of education may see possible benefits for future online classes, such as studies and degree programs. 

About the Writer
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Mason Gourley, Staff Writer

Mason is a sophomore at Durant High School. He is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint Newspaper. He is a fan of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. He writes about...

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...

Amazon Struggles During COVID-19 Pandemic

Amazon has to adapt their processes to align with social distancing standards while ensuring customers recieve their products.

Jordan Stead- Amazon

Amazon has to adapt their processes to align with social distancing standards while ensuring customers recieve their products.

Pressure has been put on Amazon as the company deals with delays for sold-out items. There have been complaints from employees about their workplace safety and their concerns about crowded hiring events. Workers are also concerned about limited disinfectants and the company following through with commitments.

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 have hit more than a dozen Amazon facilities in the past weeks calling for centers to be closed for deep cleanings. Amazon’s decision was to keep the centers open for business causing employees to petition to close the building in order to follow the social distancing guidelines. 

Southern California Amazon workers are demanding the company to shut down infected warehouses for at least two weeks because social distancing has been almost impossible in some workplaces. 

The company’s Eastvale warehouse in Riverside county was the first to report employees testing positive for the virus has escalated up to three confirmed cases as of this week.

A delivery center in Hawthorne, an Amazon Prime Now warehouse in Los Angeles and two other facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties have been some of the facilities affected and some have reported cases in late March. 

Amazon is providing up to two weeks of pay to workers that are diagnosed with Covid-19 or quarantined to ensure they can self-isolate themselves and not suffer a loss of income. The company is also offering unlimited unpaid time off for hourly workers through the end of April.

Amazon is taking measures to reduce infection in facilities by sanitizing screens and door handles during the workdays. Time shifts have also been staggered to promote social distancing for employees. 

There have been daily temperature checks for employees in the United States and Europe which began Sunday, March 9. More than 100,000 employees are receiving temperature checks per day and are also being checked before entering their workplace.

Any employee found to have a temperature of above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit will be asked to go home and not return until having gone three days without the fever. 

Employees have been told to stay three feet apart, wash hands or use hand sanitizers. Some workers have said Amazon isn’t providing sufficient cleaning supplies at facilities or properly enforcing social distancing. 

Concerns about Amazon’s safety measures have escalated as employees in at least 15 warehouses across the U.S. have tested positive. 

About the Writer
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Adamari Jaimez, Staff Writer

Adamari Jaimez is a junior at Durant High School. She was a staffer for the Durant yearbook and then became a Staff Writer for the Pawprint newspaper to...

About the Writer
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Mattie Powers, Staff Writer

Mattie Powers is a senior at Durant High School and a Staff Writer for the PawPrint newspaper. Not only is Mattie Powers involved in the PawPrint, but...

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