Making online learning a little more festive

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 12:00pm

It was the day before online classes were to begin, and the staff at the Block Island School were ready on a Sunday morning to hand out the technology and other learning materials for the students who would be attending class at home.

But the presence of Super Mario Brothers, Spider-Man, Batman and Elsa made the day festive.

Their presence was a gift from homeowner Mike Nolan, who works for a company that owns the licensing for these and many other famous characters.

“I owned a company, Nolan Glove Company, and donated gloves and hats to the Block Island School every winter,” Nolan said, who makes his year-round home in Chappaqua, N.Y. “In 2014, I sold my company to Bioworld Merchandising, which is based in Dallas. We’re a division of BioWorld. We acquired a couple of other companies and one is a backpack company and we make kids’ backpacks for Disney, Walmart, Target — everybody. We make samples and prototypes and end up with a large amount of bags and I thought it would be a nice idea to donate them to the Block Island School. I thought it would be a nice touch for the kids out there. We’ll probably continue to do this every year.” (He said it was his daughter Molly’s idea.)

Nolan said the company donated about 300 backpacks to the school. “It’s just a nice thing to be able to do,” he said.

As an aside, Nolan said the best selling tee shirt in their catalogue is a Golden Girls pink tee shirt sold at Walmart. “We sell like 50,000 a week.”