Microsoft has revealed the four El Paso schools it will partner with to develop advanced computer science programs.
The technology giant announced today it will implement its Technology, Education and Literacy in Schools, or TEALS, program at Clint ISD Early College Academy, Eastlake and Eastwood high schools, and Loretto Academy.
The investment follows the tech giant’s announcement in March that it has selected El Paso as a TechSpark community – one of six in the country. The program is designed to foster economic opportunity and job creation.
“We know teachers want to teach computer science, but it can be challenging to find the time and resources to learn the subject,” said J.J. Childress, the Microsoft community engagement manager for El Paso. “TEALS addresses this by putting trained technology volunteers into classrooms to teach students while helping teachers prepare to teach the subject on their own.”
The four El Paso schools join 350 schools in 29 states across the country that are participating in the TEALS program. Microsoft says it has paired the schools with volunteers and computer science experts from more than 500 companies.
The El Paso high schools will begin implementing the TEALS program in fall, according to Microsoft. The company plans to increase the number of schools to 10 by 2019.
“Our region is fortunate to have terrific schools, which will be even stronger with the addition of a program that teaches one of the key skills young people will need to be successful in our increasingly technology driven world,” Childress said of computer science.
John Mack, Prudential’s head of technology in El Paso, has signed up to volunteer with the TEALS program, as well as a number of local software developers.
“Technology is driving the world economy, and there are so many rewarding careers available to those who have learned to code,” Mack said. “I jumped at the opportunity to work with young people in our community this fall, and I hope that many others join me.”
The TEALS program is also being supported by El Paso Electric, Steele Consulting and the University of Texas at El Paso, which have committed to promote the program among students and employees who want to volunteer.
Anyone with a computer science degree or equivalent industry experience can apply online at tealsk12.org/volunteers. Volunteers receive training over the summer and other support throughout the process.
“We have a responsibility to create pathways for our students from high school, through college and to professional positions,” said Edmond Martinez, principal of Clint ISD Early College Academy. “It’s my hope that many of those in our community who have technology training will sign up to volunteer with TEALS this fall.”