Resaca Receives $20,000 Check from Verizon Foundation

Resaca Receives $20,000 Check from Verizon Foundation
Posted on 03/26/2014
This is the image for the news article titled Resaca Receives $20,000 Check from Verizon FoundationSuperintendent Gonzalo Salazar called it a day of celebration, and Resaca Middle School did the celebrating.

Dancing the beat of the Verizon song "Blue Eyes" by Ladyhawke, six girls and the cheerleaders celebrated after the school received a $20,000 check from the Verizon Foundation Wednesday.

The check was a reward for the six students – Cassandra Baquero, Grecia Cano, Caitlyn Gonzales, Jacquelyne Garcia Torres, Kayleen Gonzalez and Janessa Leija – and their teacher-sponsor Maggie Bolado who developed the concept for an app that received a Best in Nation award in the Verizon App Challenge.

Resaca was one of eight winners chosen – four middle schools and four high schools. Representatives from Verizon in Dallas will be at the celebration.

The team’s app, Hello Navi, integrates a variety of digital tools such as a compass, scanner, VoiceOver, optical braille readers and Google indoor navigation technology to guide blind or visually-challenged students around their school.

Andres Salas, a visually-impaired student at Resaca, was the inspiration behind the app.

About the Verizon App Challenge
Each Best in Nation winning team has earned its school a $15,000 Verizon Foundation grant, in addition to a $5,000 grant for achieving Best in Region. Resaca Middle School will use the grants to help build the team’s app and advance Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

Nearly 1,300 Teams entered the national competition aimed at boosting students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Members of the eight winning teams will be invited to present their apps in person – on tablets they will be receiving – at the 2014 National TSA Conference in Washington, D.C. June 27-July 1.

Bolado will receive training to build the app. She will then coach the students to build the app before June 1 for submission to the national conference.

In early April, students will focus on developing their app concept into an actual app. To build their app, they will learn to code and how to use MIT App Inventor, with hands-on support and training from Verizon employees and members of the MIT App Inventor Training Corps. Verizon will then help the teams share and distribute their finished apps via the iTunes and Google Play stores.

The story has attracted attention from the national news media, including cable television network programs a national magazine's print and digital publications.

National News Media Attention
The Resaca story has picked up attention nationwide.

People.com, the online version of People Magazine, posted a story on its website and a link on its Facebook page. A story in the printed magazine is also possible.

Other national news media stories are in the works and will be announced as they are posted.

Locally, Wednesday's presentation was covered by The Brownsville Herald, KGBT-TV, and KVEO-TV.
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