Four schools in El Paso, Texas have joined the Microsoft Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) programme so they can teach students how to code and prepare them for the workplace of the future.
First established in 2009, Microsoft TEALS pairs volunteer computer science experts with teachers to help high schools across the US to develop and grow sustainable computer science programmes and provide students with digital skills. To date, 1,050 technology experts from over 500 companies have partnered with teachers in nearly 350 schools in 29 US states and in the District of Columbia.
This autumn, Microsoft will take its TEALS programme to Clint ISD Early College Academy, Eastlake High School, Eastwood High School and Loretto Academy, all in El Paso.
“Our region is fortunate to have terrific schools, which will be even stronger with the addition of a programme that teaches one of the key skills young people will need to be successful in our increasingly technology driven world,” said JJ Childress, El Paso manager of Microsoft’s TechSpark programme. “We know teachers want to teach computer science, but it can be challenging to find the time and resources to learn the subject. TEALS addresses this by putting trained technology volunteers into classrooms to teach students, while helping teachers prepare to teach the subject on their own.”
El Paso-based businesses have also encouraged their employees to volunteer with TEALS – such as El Paso Electric, Steele Consulting and Prudential. In addition, the University of Texas is promoting TEALS to students who may want to volunteer.
“Technology is driving the world economy, and there are so many rewarding careers available to those who have learned to code,” said John Mack, head of technology at Prudential in el Paso, who has signed up as a TEALS volunteer. “I jumped at the opportunity to work with young people in our community this autumn, and I hope that many others join me.”
Edmond Martinez, principal of Clint ISD Early College Academy, has also encouraged local technology experts to volunteer.
“We have a responsibility to create pathways for our students from high school, through college, and to professional positions,” said Martinez. “Technical knowledge and skills prepare our students for the jobs of today and tomorrow, to solve serious problems, and create new opportunities for humanity. It’s my hope that many of those in our community who have technology training will sign up to volunteer with TEALS this autumn. What could be more rewarding than passing on your skills to the next generation of innovators?”
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