Tuesday, December 15, 2020

'A Balanced Breakfast' | Miami Dade College MAGIC x Nickelodeon

For the past five years, Nickelodeon has worked closely with Miami Dade College MAGIC to encourage their students to create and produce bespoke animated short films, through the college's MAGIC (Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex) program. Check out this year's amazing video, A Balanced Breakfast, presented below in English, Spanish and Portuguese below!:

Follow A Balanced Breakfast on Instagram and Facebook!

A Balanced Breakfast is created by Brenna Verner; Produced by Yesenia Grisales & Anthony Leon-Delgado; Original Music Composition by Nicolas Velasquez & Javier Albornoz (NWSA); Character Voices by Isabel Tucen, Isabella Stevens, Dani Vazquez, John Mazuelos & Hailey Hafer (NWSA). Faculty: Renata Ballo and Erwin Santacruz Animation and Game Development Chairperson: Mauricio Ferrazza.

Desayuno Balanceado (en Español):

Desde hace 5 años, trabajamos de la mano con Miami Dade College MAGIC para incentivar a sus estudiantes a crear y producir cortos animados, a través del programa MAGIC. ¡Echen un vistazo al increíble video elegido este año, "Desayuno Balanceado", de @flavorkingdom!

Café da manhã equilibrado (em Português):

Há 5 anos começamos uma parceria de sucesso com a Miami Dade College para incentivar seus estudantes a criar e produzir curtas animados através do programa MAGIC! Dá uma olhadinha no vídeo incrível que ganhou esse ano, "Café da manhã equilibrado", da @flavorkingdom!

Official Miami Dade College press release:

MDC Student Creates Animated Film Currently Airing on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. Across Latin America

MIAMI, Oct. 15, 2020, – Brenna Verner, a two-time graduate of Miami Dade College (MDC), has just seen a long-cherished dream come to life on the screens of ViacomCBS’ Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. television networks as her animated short film, A Balanced Breakfast premiered across Latin America last week.

“I am filled to the brim with overwhelming joy and gratitude. This represents nothing short of my lifelong dream. It is all I ever hoped and worked for,” Verner said. “I’m proud of myself and my team for not giving up and seeing it through despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. It was all worth it to bring this idea to life and it means the world to me to see people enjoying my creations on an international scale.”

Verner, 29, is a proud alumna of MDC’s Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (MAGIC), a state-of-the-art animation and gaming facility at the Wolfson Campus launched in 2015 to strengthen and better position Miami as the new hub for the animation and game development industries.  

Created by Verner and produced by a team of MAGIC students, A Balanced Breakfast is a 2-minute short film featuring a trio of flavorful sister princesses — Sweet, Salty, and Sour — who argue over what to make their parents for their anniversary breakfast.  As all of the girls have “different tastes,” it winds up being a funny recipe for disaster. The 2D animation was created using Toon Boom Harmony, an animation software which serves as the industry standard and boasts big name productions such as Spongebob Squarepants and The Simpsons.

Verner and team were mentored and guided by MDC faculty and professionals from ViacomCBS Networks Americas (parent company of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.) through a partnership with MAGIC to mentor students and showcase their best work.

“We are very proud of the work Brenna created together with all the students who participated in this animated film production with Nickelodeon,” said Mauricio Ferrazza, MAGIC chairperson. “Our partnership with ViacomCBS embodies the essence of the MAGIC program, working with industry partners to guide students and teach valuable skills targeting the animation industry.”

 Verner first enrolled at MDC in 2009 as the only animation major in the honors program, when the curriculum was limited to 3D classes. After graduating with an associate degree in computer arts and animation, she earned a bachelor’s degree in film, video, and new media from Florida Atlantic University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

In 2015, she returned to MDC to participate in the MIA Animation Conference’s first Indie Game Design competition, in which she won first place. Her winning video game design featured 12 original characters including a candy-coated girl named Dulcia, who she would later develop into Princess Sweet and eventually created the entire Flavor Kingdom, now featured in A Balanced Breakfast.

Impressed by what she saw at MAGIC, Verner became an MDC student again in 2018 and earned an Associate in Science in animation and game art.

Born and raised in Miami, she is the oldest of three siblings raised by a single Cuban mother, which taught Verner about resourcefulness and self-sufficiency.

“Coming from a low-income family, I knew it was entirely dependent on me to earn enough to afford my college education,” she said.

While studying hard and working full-time, she maintained a 4.0 GPA, saved money, and continued to dream of animation, a passion she discovered as a child when she picked up her first crayon. Now she is the first in her family to graduate from college and pursue a professional career.

She also uses her skills and talent to bring out the best in children with and without learning disabilities, or “different abilities,” as an animation teacher with Danimation Entertainment, Arts 4 Learning, and Varsity Tutors.

“My dream, besides creating my own cartoon series and working in a studio like Nickelodeon, is to continue teaching animation to kids,” she said. “I love to empower students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to be themselves and chase their dreams. I help my students all over the world to build both their animation skills and their self-esteem, and in doing so, it feels I am fostering the next generation of artists and changing the world.”


With facilities that mimic the production pipeline from PIXAR Studios, and located at MDC’s Wolfson Campus, the Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) offers students an intensive, hands-on two-year program to develop skills in modeling, lighting, motion, sound, and storytelling. The program also provides an opportunity to gain command of the technical skills required in today’s highly competitive animation industry. MAGIC bridges the gap in affordability and accessibility, providing quality programming and the very best facilities at a fraction of the cost compared to private competitors.  For more information, visit www.magic.mdc.edu.

For more information about MAGIC, please contact Mauricio Ferrazza at 305-237-7852, mferrazz@mdc.edu.

Follow Brenna Verner on Instagram at @flavorkingdom.


Animated Short Film By MDC Student Airs On Nickelodeon In Latin America

A Nickelodeon Smile: Brenna Verner's animated short film, A Balanced Breakfast, aired on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. in Latin America in October. ANNABELLA GOMEZ / THE REPORTER

Many kids dream of becoming cartoon artists and seeing their drawings come to life on television. That dream became a reality for Brenna Verner.

Verner’s animated short film, A Balanced Breakfast, premiered across Latin America on the screens of Viacom CBS’ Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. television networks in October.

“I remember I would get in trouble in school because I would pass around my comics in class,” said Verner, a Wolfson Campus student. “My classmates would always ask me ‘Yo! When is the next chapter coming out?’ and that kept me super motivated. I am glad I never gave up.” 

The two-minute film stars three sisters—Salty, Sour and Sweet— who are princesses from the Flavor Kingdom arguing about what to make their parents for breakfast on their wedding anniversary. When they have different opinions on what to make, it winds up being a recipe for disaster. 

Verner, 29, started at Miami Dade College in the Honors College at Wolfson Campus in 2009. Two years later, she earned an associate’s degree in computer arts and animation before transferring to Florida Atlantic University where got a bachelor’s degree in film, video and new media in 2013.

She returned to MDC in 2015 to participate in the MIA Animation Conference’s first Indie Game Design competition. Verner won.

Her winning video game design featured twelve original characters including a candy-coated girl named Dulcia, who she would later turn into Princess Sweet and became the basis for the Flavor Kingdom seen in A Balanced Breakfast.

But Verner did more than win. She left impressed by what she saw at MDC’s Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (better known as MAGIC). In 2018, she enrolled in the program to work toward an associate in science degree in animation and game art. 

“My passion is more geared toward visual development, character design, concept art and storyboarding—the actual creation of the ideas and the characters in the story,” Verner said. “I feel like MAGIC gave me the opportunity to pursue 2D animation and my dream.”

Verner originally created A Balanced Breakfast as her final capstone project, where some contestants got a chance to pitch their idea to executives and professionals partnering with MAGIC at the time. After being selected by the judges, Verner made her pitch to this year’s partner—Nickelodeon.

The crew that brought A Balanced Breakfast to life includes Verner, producers Yesenia Grisales and Anthony Leon-Delgado, music composers Nicolas Velasquez and Javier Albornoz from the New World School of Arts, and character voicers Isabel Tucen, Isabella Stevens, Dani Vazquez, John Mazuelos and Hailey Hafer. Among contributing faculty: Renata Ballo, Erwin Santacruz, and MAGIC chairperson Mauricio Ferrazza.

“We are very proud of the work Brenna created together with all the students who participated in this animated film production with Nickelodeon,” Ferrazza said. “Our partnership with Viacom CBS embodies the essence of the MAGIC program, working with industry partners to guide students and teach valuable skills targeting the animation industry.”

Production for the short film began last spring but the team ran into a few issues. No one knew how to use Toon Boom Harmony—an animation software that serves as the industry standard. 

When they figured it out, the team was hit with a bigger obstacle: the pandemic. That prevented them from accessing the equipment at MAGIC’s computer lab and made collaboration harder.

But they adjusted by working longer hours to make the project happen. 

Aside from creating video games and short films, Verner teaches animation for DaniMation Entertainment, an autistic talent development company based out of Los Angeles. The program features students of all ages. They learn how to design and animate cartoons using industry-standard software. 

“I feel like this is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I have done in my life,” Verner said. “A lot of my students have disabilities such as autism. They give students the opportunity to learn animation and train them to be assistants and employees, which is great because I get to help all these kids create their own cartoons and movies.”

She also works at Arts 4 Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing arts education in her community, and Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with professional personalized instruction. 

In the future, Verner, who is scheduled to graduate from MDC at the end of the spring semester, hopes to make A Balanced Breakfast into a cartoon series.

“I have a bunch of little flavorful adventures that I am cooking up for the girls,” Verner said. “I do want to share that little by little on Instagram. This has the potential to be a full-blown series.”


More Nick: Nickelodeon Launches Animation 'Intergalactic Shorts Program'!

Originally published: Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

Additional source: Miami's Community Newspapers.

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CBS All Access Adds 'Invader ZIM', 'Crashletes', 'Fanboy and Chum Chum'

'Tis the season for DOOOM!! CBS All Access, the soon-to-be rebranded streaming service from ViacomCBS, today added all 27 episodes (two seasons) of Nickelodeon's cult-animated series Invader ZIM!

Created by indie comics artist Jhonen Vasquez, Invader Zim tells the story of extraterrestrial outcast Zim, from the planet Irk, who reams of greatness. Unfortunately, though, he's hopelessly inept as a space invader. Desperate to be rid of the annoying Zim, his planet's leaders, the Almighty Tallest, send him on a mission to infiltrate Earth, providing him with leftover, cobbled-together equipment, including his malfunctioning - yet extremely faithful - robot, GIR. To their consternation, Zim succeeds in setting up a base on Earth and infiltrating human culture, posing as a human child as he plots the planet's downfall. Only Zim's archnemesis, Dib, recognizes that Zim is an alien, and of course, nobody believes Dib's claims.

Unfortunately, the Invader ZIM movie Enter the Florpus wasn't included in today's addition of the series. However, the movie is still available to stream on Netflix.

Invader ZIM joins other beloved Nickelodeon favorites on CBS All Access, including Hey Arnold!Are You Afraid of the Dark?CatDogRugratsKenan & KelRocket PowerSpongeBob SquarePantsThe Angry BeaversAll ThatRocko's Modern LifeThe Wild ThornberrysAAAHH!!! Real MonstersThe Ren & Stimpy ShowDougClarissa Explains It All, and the '80s Nickelodeon series Danger Mouse!

Additionally, CBS All Access also today added all 60 episodes (across three seasons) of Crashletes, including the remaining 10 episodes that are still to air on TV, and Fanboy & Chum Chum (all 52 episodes across two seasons)!

Sports bloopers have been a TV staple for decades, but Crashletes takes the concept to a new level. The show is dedicated to the majority of athletes who play their sports for fun despite knowing they'll never become professionals. They give it their all but -- as Crashletes proves -- don't always succeed in their ventures. Hosting the kid-friendly show are comics Stevie Nelson, whose favorite fail videos feature animals, and Brandon Broady, who once had his own Crashletes moment when the head of his golf club came off after he missed the ball. The hosts present clips and bloopers featuring amateur athletes, wannabe athletes and even animal athletes. New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski served as a co-host for the show's first two seasons.

Fanboy and Chum Chum are fans of all things science fiction and fantasy, and wear wild superhero costumes with their underwear on the outside. Their lives are filled with adventure, from Fanboy's teacher turning into a zombie to an ice monster operating the Frosty Freezy Freeze machine. Their pal Kyle usually tags along on their escapades. Kyle is a real wizard, but Fanboy and Chum Chum are oblivious to his mystical powers, although they live in a world of fantasy.

The addition of Invader ZIM and Crashletes to CBS All Access comes as ViacomCBS is bulking up the service with content from its portfolio of brands ahead of the it's relaunch as Paramount+ early next year.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Updates Icons, Sets New Characters for 2021 | Next-Gen Nick!

H/T: Special thanks to @KPGamingz@TVShowsFan and @kanc (via ASF) for the news and information!

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Nickelodeon to Premiere New 'Top Elf', 'All That' and 'Unleashed' on Thursday, December 17, 2020

Catch brand new festive episodes of Top Elf and All That, plus a brand new episode of Unleashed, premiering Thursday, December 17, 2020 from 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT), only on Nickelodeon! Unwrap the promo below!:

Top Elf season 2

7:00pm - Who Will Be Top Elf?: The final three Elf-testants produce and star in their very own holiday-themed music video. Superstar JoJo Siwa joins Santa and Ms. Jingles to judge the four true gifts of elfhood and crown this season’s TOP ELF! (#205; season 2 finale)

All That

8:00 p.m. - 1134: Hit ‘Em With Spanish returns for a holiday edition, Nathan cancels candy canes, All That presents The Remote: A Horror Trailer, and Denzel shows up at a department store to spread unwelcomed holiday cheer advice. Performance by: Pentatonix. (Holiday special; #1134)


8:30 p.m. - Squirrels Just Wanna Have Fun!: Dino-dogs show skills on a prehistoric playground, a superstar horse tries to make the soccer team, and a waterskiing squirrel solves a plumbing emergency. Featuring judges Peyton List, Preacher Lawson and Utkarsh Ambudkar. (#110; season one finale)

Originally published: Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 02:15 GMT.

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Watch the 'Weinerville' Chanukah Special from 1995

Weinerville was a surreal puppet and live action variety show for kids that aired on Nickelodeon for two seasons from 1993 to 1994. The show was created by puppeteer and actor Marc Weiner who went on to voice Swiper the Fox, the Map and the Fiesta Trio on Dora the Explorer, later reprising his role as the Map for the live-action movie, Dora and the Lost City of Gold. , and filmed at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

After the series was cancelled, it returned for several special episodes including the cult favorite "Weinerville Chanukah Special" you can watch above. Here's the, er, plot as described on IMDb:

"The Weinerville Gang is throwing a Hanukkah party at the Weinerville Ski Lodge. Upon preparations on the decorations, two aliens crash landed their ship at the lodge who both resemble giant potato pancakes. The aliens explain how they escape form their planet after being fed up with their planet's leader who forces his citizens to do anything with the powers of his ray gun. The gang decides to help them out buy buying vegetable oil at the local store and return to the lodge. While at the lodge the gang and the refuge aliens encounter the alien leader with his army have just taken over the Ski lodge. How will the gang be able to save their refuge friends from another world?"

Originally published: Saturday, December 12, 2020.

Original source: Boing Boing.

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Santa’s Final 4 Elves🎅 ft. Guava Juice | Full Episode | Top Elf | Nickelodeon

Santa’s Final 4 Elves🎅 ft. Guava Juice | Full Episode | Top Elf | Nickelodeon

Full episode of Top Elf Season 2, Episode 4, "Elfies and Selfies", featuring the Final 4! Santa has transported extraordinary kid creators to the North Pole to compete for the title of Top Elf and $25,000 for a charity at the top of their Wish List! Guest judge Guava Juice shares which designs he thinks are picture perfect. (#204)

Who will be crowned Top Elf? Find out in the epic season two finale, premiering Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT), only on Nickelodeon!

More Nick: Nickelodeon Unwraps Holiday Programming Guide!

Originally published: Tuesday, December 15,, 2020.

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Cyberpunk 2077 Fan Brings SpongeBob's 'Handsome Squidward' to Night City

A 3D render of the famous meme from SpongeBob SquarePants has been photoshopped into a screengrab of Cyberpunk 2077’s character creator.

A fan of CD Projekt Red's latest open-world role-playing video game Cyberpunk 2077 has replaced the protagonist V with Handsome Squidward from Nickelodeon's beloved SpongeBob SquarePants animated series.

The image was posted on Reddit by user NOMADISATERRORIST and it quickly amassed praise. The post places the strikingly gorgeous visage of Handsome Squidward into the character creation screen that players see as soon as they start a new game of Cyberpunk 2077. The Reddit post was created in Photoshop using a 3D render from artist Miguel Vasquez, who specializes in horrifyingly realistic 3D images of traditionally 2D cartoons.

For those unaware of the "Handsome Squidward" meme, its origin is from the Season 5 episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, "The Two Faces of Squidward." The aforementioned "Handsome Squidward" appears after when Squidward is rushed to the hospital after SpongeBob accidentally slams the door on Squidward's face. The treatment makes him amazingly handsome and beautiful.

Players of Cyberpunk 2077 will know that the limited character creation system in the game does not have the capability to actually recreate the likes of Handsome Squidward. If anything, the Photoshopped image has strengthened the desire for a more developed character creation system in Cyberpunk 2077 with comments asking for the ability to customize the size of facial features, as well as more color options for skin. That being said, Cyberpunk 2077 infamously gives players the option to customize their player's genitals, a feature that certainly separates the RPG from its contemporaries.

The limited customization options are not the only complaints lodged against the game over its early days of release. Players have been reporting a number of bugs, crashes, and glitches while playing the game, especially on last-gen consoles. Earlier this morning, developer CD Projekt Red formally apologized, saying "We should have paid more attention to making it play better on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One." They went on to say that they will release patches that will fix player issues over the next couple of months, but that players who are especially dissatisfied can request a refund for the game. The developer had cited last-gen versions of Cyberpunk 2077 as its primary reason for delaying the release of the game back in November.

Developed by CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia and PC.

Original source: CBR.com.

Watch SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon!

Listen to The SpongeBob Musical here!: https://spongebobmusical.blogspot.com

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated is now available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch!

CALLING ALL GOOFY GOOBERS! (ROCK!) Are ya ready for a deep dive into the world of SpongeBob SquarePants? The SpongeBob YouTube channel is THE PLACE for all fan-favorite SpongeBob moments! We’re serving up everything from legendary scenes to remixes of classic songs to deep dives into Bikini Bottom lore. Be sure to check back every week for Music Mondays, Wumbo Wednesdays, and Flashback Fridays! Subscribe now at https://www.youtube.com/SpongeBobOfficial!

Shop SpongeBob!: https://www.spongebobshop.com - SpongeBob face masks now available, with ALL proceeds going to charity!

More Nick: Nickelodeon Reveals First Look of Characters in Original 'Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years' Animated Series!

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Watch Young Dylan and Chinguun Sergelen Do Nickelodeon Impressions

Watch Young Dylan and Chinguun Sergelen Do Nickelodeon Impressions

Nickelodeon stars Dylan Gilmer — otherwise known as Young Dylan — and Chinguun Sergelen put their impression skills to the test exclusively with J-14! The talented young stars took turns pretending to be characters from other Nickelodeon shows — like SpongeBob SquarePants, All That, Dora the Explorer, and Henry Hart (Henry Danger), and more — while the other actor guessed who they were impersonating. Make sure to watch the video above and see if you can guess what characters Dylan and Chinguun were acting out! These two are SO fun as they try to guess which character the other is impersonating. 

Young Dylan and Chinguun were both recently on the kid committee for Nickelodeon and Time for Kids' Kid of the Year along with Little Chef Ivy (MasterChef Junior), Sky Katz (Raven’s Home), and 'TIME for Kids' Kid Reporters Raunak Singh and Tiana Sirmans. For more information, visit http://nickalive.blogspot.com/2020/12/time-and-nickelodeon-reveal-first-ever.html

More Nick: TIME and Nickelodeon Reveal the First-ever Kid of the Year!

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JoJo Siwa Sweetly Surprises 5-Year-Old Superfan with Virtual Hangout Through Make-A-Wish Foundation and Macy’s National Believe Week

Nickelodeon star JoJo Siwa surprised one of her biggest fans in collaboration with the Make-A-Wish foundation and Macy’s National Believe Week.

A good cause: On Saturday, a video was released to the Make-A-Wish Foundation's Instagram account featuring a video call between JoJo Siwa and a fan named Ainarah

The 17-year-old YouTube personality was featured in a video posted by the charity on Saturday in which she virtually met a five-year-old girl named Ainarah. 

Ainarah, a Virginia native, was born with a neuromuscular disorder, and it was apparently her wish to get some one-on-one time with the "Hold The Drama" singer.

Siwa was very excited to meet her fan, and in the video, could be seen exclaiming, "Look at you, cutie, it's nice to meet you!"

The 17-year-old singer could be seen wearing a pink graphic printed hoodie in the video; she also wore a large pair of sunglasses and one of her trademark bows.

The two initially discussed fashion, and the singer told Ainarah that her favorite of her many bows was the one that she wears on stage; she then complemented her new friend on the bow that she had on for the hangout.

The former Dance Moms cast member then asked the Virginian to open a present that she had sent over, a bracelet from a collaboration between Macy's and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Making connections: During the video, Siwa showed off a bracelet that her and Ainarah could match in

Siwa then showed that she had a matching bracelet as well, and instructed Ainarah that every time she wore the bracelet, 'to believe, and to always remember how awesome and how amazing you are, okay?' 

The two were then joined by a special guest, as Santa Claus showed up for a surprise visit in the middle of the virtual call.

The big man in red assured Ainarah that, "although this has been a very different year," he would always love her, regardless of the circumstances.

Special guest: Santa Claus showed up during the call and reminded Ainarah that he would always love her

High exposure: The singer's first single, entitled "Boomerang", was certified as double platinum  just over a year after its initial release

Siwa first gained prominence for her appearances on the Lifetime dance show Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, after which she was featured in seasons five and six of Dance Moms.

In 2016, she released her debut single "Boomerang", which went on to be certified as double platinum by the RIAA due to its immense popularity.

The singer has a talent deal and consumer product partnerships with Nickelodeon, and has been featured in many Nickelodeon shows and made-for-TV movies, including her own specials, School of Rock, The Thundermans, Lip Sync Battle Shorties, and Blurt!.

In September, Siwa was named one of Time's 100 most influential people of the world, with her large online following being a contributing factor to her designation.

JoJo currently has a brand new Christmas holiday-themed album out, JoJo’s Rockin’ Christmas.

This year, Macy’s beloved Believe letter-writing campaign extends National Believe Day to National Believe Week, providing customers the opportunity to double their donations to Make-A-Wish for a full week, helping deliver hope and joy to wish kids and their families when they need it most.

From the start of Believe campaign through its final day on Dec. 24, for every letter sent to Santa online at macys.com/believe or dropped off in Macy’s stores, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. During National Believe Week, which ran from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5, Macy’s pledged to donate $2 for each letter collected (up to an extra $1 million above the existing $1 million campaign goal) to help children fighting critical illnesses’ life-changing wishes come true.

In celebration of National Believe Week, Macy’s stores, Make-A-Wish chapters and community partners across the country hosted digital letter-writing parties and encourage letter drop-offs through Macy’s Curbside Pickup for enhanced safety. Now more than ever, as COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to impact communities and families, these letters to Santa can bring hope and joy to wish kids who are isolated and some of the most vulnerable members of our population.

For parents, educators and community leaders interested in the initiative, Macy’s Believe Teacher & Parent Engagement Toolkit provides resources and lesson plans to easily execute within the new environment of virtual learning. These educational materials, created in partnership with The Learning Experience, include letter writing guides, holiday activities and more, offering fun and unique ways for children to learn the importance of giving back to those in need.

More Nick: Nickelodeon’s JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. The Tour to Resume Touring During Summer 2021!

Original source: Daily Mail Online.
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ViacomCBS Breaks Down Workforce Demographic, Unpacks Inclusion Initiatives on New Diversity Website

ViacomCBS is launching a dedicated diversity and inclusion website that sheds light, for the first time, on the combined company’s workforce demographics following the merger of Viacom and CBS, Variety has revealed. The portal is an effort to promote diverse hiring and long-term inclusion initiatives.

According to data collected as of July 31, 2020, 63.8% of the company’s 16,612 domestic employees are white, and 11.6%, 11.3% and 10.3% identify as Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American and Asian, respectively. ViacomCBS’ senior leadership is also predominantly white; less than 25% are executives of color.

Emphasizing its commitment to improving diversity and inclusion on and off the camera, ViacomCBS’ website outlines its employee programs that promote conversations on belonging and advancement, as it looks to focus on social justice and equity issues and offer more opportunities to underrepresented talent.

This new digital space is an extension of the company’s longtime efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In September, the network kicked off its annual inclusion week tackling racial representation and gender parity head on.

“This year, our goals are to continue this cadence of intentionality around [demonstrating to] our employees our commitment to championing a culture that’s diverse, inclusive, and that actually creates a sense of belonging for them,” Marva Smalls, ViacomCBS’ global head of inclusion, told Variety at the time.

“We also see it as a way of establishing a competitive landscape as a company that’s willing to not only have a steady drumbeat, but also especially now in the zeitgeist of a moment, to really build a tool kit for managers and employees alike, to become even smarter and well-versed and more informed in this space,” she added.

Other initiatives across the network include Nickelodeon’s artists and writers programs and ViacomCBS’ writers mentoring program and directing initiative that seek to open doors for women and Black, Indigenous and people of color. Earlier this month, MTV Entertainment Group also committed $250 million over the next three years to fuel content from production companies operated by women and people of color.

ViacomCBS' Inclusion website also filters the Key Content Initiatives per brand, including Nickelodeon:

"The Nick programs are among the best in the business and offer underrepresented creators with unique voices and from underrepresented communities opportunities to develop their skills, get professional development and launch careers. A spot in the Nick Writing Program gives participants exposure to seasoned writers and executives and a chance to embark on a career as a writer for Nickelodeon’s scripted live-action and animated television productions. Similarly, the Nick Artist Program offers aspiring artists from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to hone their skills while working on our animated television shows in three tracks: storyboard, general and computer graphics generalist."

"Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Noggin have a long track record of nurturing and bringing to the screen programs that celebrate diversity and inclusion, such as Dora the Explorer, a global phenomenon that has crossed social, racial and language boundaries and has a following of millions of children around the world. The networks continue this tradition with Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan, The Casagrandes, Santiago of the Seas and the revival of All That."

Visitors can also find which out which inclusivity awards ViacomCBS's portfolio has won, including Nickelodeon winning the Best Children’s Programming award for The Loud House at the 2019 Imagen Awards, and Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies' Dora and the Lost City of Gold picking up the Best Feature Film, Best Director (Feature Film; James Bobin) and Best Actress in a Feature Film (Isabela Merced) awards at the 2020 Imagen Awards.

For more information, visit https://www.viacomcbs.com/inclusion.

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