Dawn Martesi - Council for the Advancement of Public Schools
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Neil A. Armstrong Middle School to be featured in new Verizon television commercial

Instructional coach Dawn Martesi and eighth-grade student Chelsie McClease were featured in the spot that will air during Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball championship game on TBS.

National television is the latest stop for the technology program at Neil A. Armstrong Middle School in Bristol Township.

Verizon officials have announced that the school — particularly instructional coach Dawn Martesi and eighth-grade student Chelsie McClease — will be featured in the company’s new national television advertisement to be aired during the NCAA men’s basketball championship game Monday night on TBS.

The ad will “bring mass attention to the issue of educational inequality and the digital divide in America,” a Verizon news release said.

The spot originally was supposed to air on Oscar Night March 4 but was pulled back by Verizon.

Martesi said at the time she couldn’t be more excited about the commercial and showcasing the technical programs at Armstrong.

“It was amazing to see our school taken over by the film crew — crazy and surreal,” she said.

Chelsie at the time described it as a “dream thing.”

“I never thought I would be on TV in the eighth-grade,” she said.

Armstrong and Bristol Township’s other middle school, Franklin D. Roosevelt, are two of only four schools in Pennsylvania — the other two are in Pittsburgh — among 100 in the country to be named Verizon Innovative Learning Schools. These are economically disadvantaged schools with not as much access to technology as wealthier ones, Verizon officials said.

For the last four years, the Verizon Foundation and a group called Digital Promise has provided $1.2 million to $1.5 million worth of equipment and services at each Bristol Township school.

Among the many things the money pays for is mobile devices for each student. Among the programs that have grown out of the partnership are student teams called Tiger Techs that help both fellow students and teachers with technical issues.

Verizon officials also announced they are committing another $200 million toward STEM education at schools around the country and increasing the number of Innovative Learning Schools to 200.

 

Credit: The Intelligencer

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