Questeq Supports Video Conference Program

Questeq customer, Cornell School District and their elementary third graders had a very special visit with children’s author, Megan McDonald on May 3rd. With the support of Candlewick Press, Questeq, and several other partner organizations, the best-selling author was available to speak to students and sign books in their classrooms.

Ms. McDonald, 58, has 35 million books in print, including the popular Judy Moody franchise. She also has written the Julie Albright series of American Girl books, as well as dozens of others.

A longtime California resident, she returned to her roots in Pittsburgh’s North Hills area. Following the program at Cornell Elementary, Megan also spoke with patrons at the Northland Public Library in McCandless, where she once worked as a teenager.

Megan’s program at Cornell was webcast to include students and patrons across the globe. An estimated 40,000 students in over 500 classrooms participated in the video conference program hosted at Cornell Elementary, with live questions from students in Minnesota, Florida, Kentucky, Alaska, and Vancouver. The Cornell third graders were on the edges of their seats and as they left their classroom that Wednesday, several proclaimed, “Best day ever.“

Books were central to Ms. McDonald and her four older sisters. Her father, an ironworker who worked on the Fort Duquesne and Andy Warhol bridges, dropped out of school at 14 to help support his family after his father died. Books filled in for him where formal schooling left off.

There was one rule in their house: no books at the dinner table. And when her father suspected that rule was being broken, the sisters knew the threat: “If I catch you reading, I’m going to tear out the last page and you’ll never know the ending.”

Other than the one prized hardback book each girl got for Christmas, their reading material came from weekly trips to the big green bookmobile that would visit the neighborhood from the Carnegie Library.

That experience set Ms. McDonald on route to becoming a children’s librarian and author. The author visit archive can be viewed at: https://kinber.njvid.net/show.php?pid=njcore:103551.

The program at Cornell Elementary was coordinated through Mr. Kris Hupp, Director of Technology & Instructional Innovation, Candlewick Press, Questeq, and KINBER, with the support of Stephanie Flom of Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures.

This is part of a series of classroom programs supported by Questeq.

Questeq Sponsors 2017 Roberto Brain Health Challenge

Questeq is always looking for and investing in programs that engage and impact students, inside and outside of the classroom. This year, we were pleased to sponsor the 2017 Roberto Brain Health Challenge program. The program is “…the fun and revolutionary app from RC21X. You play a series of video games that challenge different parts of your brain. Memory, balance, decision making and reaction time all are included. Each session creates a detailed report that tells you how well your brain is performing.”

On June 14th, students from Moon Area, West Mifflin Area and Hopewell Area School Districts received cash prizes for participating in the spring challenge. Questeq CEO, Jeff Main, attended the Moon Area and West Mifflin Area scholarship ceremonies to present the awards to the students.

You can learn more about the Roberto Brain Health Challenge by visiting their website.

Click here to read about the challenge and scholarship recipients at Moon Area High School.

CEO, Jeff Main, presents award checks to Moon Area High School.

In addition to the Roberto Brain Health Challenge, Questeq recently awarded six, $1000.00 scholarships to graduating seniors attending postsecondary programs in the fall. We also were pleased to sponsor The Challenge Program for students at the Beaver County Career & Technology Center for the 2016-17 school year. Read about our sponsorship of The Challenge Program and the BCCTC student named Student of the Year.

At Questeq, we are dedicated to reinvesting back into our partner schools through sponsorships, scholarships and other beneficial student programs.

BCCTC Student Named Student of the Year

Questeq looks for many ways to help our customer sites and community. We partnered with a special program this year called The Challenge Program.  The Challenge Program has a unique mission of connecting businesses with students, to motivate them to develop solid work habits required to succeed in school and in their future careers.  When Questeq became a partner, we chose to work with one of our long-time customer sites, Beaver County Career & Technology Center in Monaca, PA.  Jeff Main, Questeq’s CEO, and I participated in 6 assemblies back in September 2016. We demonstrated how students could win monetary prizes if they followed the core principals of The Challenge Program.  These principals are Attendance, STEM, Community Service, Academic Improvement and Academic Excellence.  Students who achieve in these categories receive cash prizes at the end of the year.  There is also one monetary award of $1,000.00 given to the Student of the Year. Students in every district participating in The Challenge Program compete to be named Student of the Year.

Recently we learned that one of the BCCTC students accepted the challenge, focused on the grand prize and in the end, won the 2017 Student of the Year award!

2017 Student of the Year Award

This award is given to a student who shares their story about how The Challenge Program changed their outlook, behavior and attitude.  They also need to explain how the business partner helped them overcome obstacles to begin a positive path to a better future.  This award is given at a special event called the Crystal Owl Gala.  I attended this gala at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Music Hall on April 27, 2017. The BCCTC student was one of the 3 finalists competing for the award.  I was overwhelmed with emotion when he was chosen as the 2017 Student of the Year! Sitting with his family and school administrators was a proud moment for me in my 20 years with Questeq.  To see how we made a difference in this young man’s life is what makes me love our company and what we do to help our community!

We wrote about our involvement with The Challenge Program earlier this year. You can read The Challenge Program’s official press release here.

 

Questeq Participating in March of Dimes Walk

On Sunday, April 30 2017, Questeq will be participating in the March of Dimes – March for Babies. The march will take place at Heinz Field (100 Art Rooney Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212). Registration begins at 8:30am, with the 3.1-mile walk beginning at 9:30am.

Follow the link below if you are interested in making a donation or participating in the walk.

http://www.marchforbabies.org/questeq

We hope to see you there!

Assemblies Bring The Challenge Program to Students at BCCTC

BCCTC Assembly

Pictured from left to right: Jessica Azur, Questeq Director of Business Administration; Jeff Main, Questeq CEO; Rodney Davis, Questeq Technology Coordinator @ BCCTC; Laura DelVecchio, BCCTC Assistant Administrative Director

The Challenge Program was presented to Questeq over the summer by Joe Oliphant. We were very excited about the opportunity to work with our partner school, the Beaver County Career & Technology Center. Our first event was an interactive assembly for the students at BCCTC and I was really not sure what to expect.  The assembly script given to us a month prior to the October kick-off date outlined the format and content of the upcoming presentations. It was an interesting concept but as the kick-off assembly drew closer, I was beginning to worry that the students would not be engaged during the presentation.

On assembly day, we were pleasantly surprised how interactive the students were and how interested they became in the program after each presentation.  We participated in six assemblies over the course of the day with over 100 students and faculty members in each session.  I enjoyed the chance to work with Questeq’s CEO, Jeff Main on this project. We have the unique dynamic of working together as a brother and sister in our family owned business.  While we have been working together for over 15 years, this was the first time we worked together as a team with students in a school setting.  Jeff took part in the first half of the assemblies and I presented the second half.  During the presentations we explained who we are as Questeq and why we partnered with The Challenge Program.  We then were joined by seven student volunteers and Mr. Oliphant for a 25-minute skit.  The skit showed how the students could successfully complete The Challenge and stay in the race over the course of the year to win $200.00 prizes and a $1,000.00 prize.

In the end, the students had fun and were motivated to win The Challenge at the end of the school year.  We are really excited to present the checks to the winners in the Spring and Fall of 2017 and congratulate them on their achievements!

You can learn more about our partnership with BCCTC and The Challenge Program here. The Beaver County Times also wrote an article about the assembly and program here.