Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative employee Dwayne Long volunteers one day each week for two hours as a TEALS instructor at Bluestone High School in Skipwith. TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) helps high schools throughout the U.S. build and grow sustainable computer science programs by pairing computer science professionals from across the technology industry with classroom teachers to team-teach computer science (CS) to students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn CS in their school. Over a two-year period, the classroom teacher gradually takes over the responsibilities of teaching the course without volunteer support.
“To my knowledge, this is the first year that computer science has been part of the curriculum at Bluestone,” says Long, who joined the Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative staff in April as vice president of information technology. One of four volunteers in the TEALS project, he adds, “These are really bright kids, and they show a lot of interest. Our group tries to make it a fun learning experience by teaching them how to build gaming apps, such as a computer card game that we are working on now, creating the deck, the four suits, etc. Some of them say this is their favorite class.”
There are 15 Bluestone High students in the class and four who travel from Park View High in South Hill. Long remarks, “I’m not a public speaker, so being in the classroom is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done; but it has been very rewarding. I enjoy sharing and feel fortunate to be involved in such a worthy project that is really opening up the IT industry for these young people.”
For more information about TEALS, Visit the Tealsk12 website.