A team of sixth- to eighth-grade students from Franklin Avenue Middle School in Franklin Lakes has been named Best in State winners in the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge for its mobile app. Photo Credit: YouTube
Franklin Avenue Middle School’s team of 7th graders won Best in the State of New Jersey among all the middle school entries in the Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge. The team created the app concept, “Destination Exploration,” that is designed for children who are unable to travel due to individual circumstances such as physical disability or financial hardship. t allows children to “virtually” travel around the world to learn about and explore different cultures and historical landmarks. The team is now in the running for National Fan Favorite. The winning team will receive a $15,000 award for the middle school towards science education programs and the opportunity to develop the app. Already the local students won $5,000 for the school. If they win "Best in Nation" they will meet with a team of developers from MIT Media Lab to develop their app. "I definitely think from personal experience that children will appreciate this app. My cousin was in the hospital with cancer last year. His dream was to travel to Costa Rica and Italy but was not able," Caroline Thoma told Daily Voice. "An app like this would allow children to have their own individual tour guide. It will teach them about an area. It will be like going there." Caroline added her team of seven thoroughly researched if there were other apps like their idea and "There are not. This is really educational and allows children to explore the world." The community can support the students by voting for their app by cellphone. The Fan Favorite and Best in Nation teams will present their completed apps at the annual Technology Student Association (TSA) Conference in Orlando, Fla., in June 2017, courtesy of Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, according to a release. Vote for the Franklin Lakes students' app
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Erica Mazzilli has a knack for choosing gifts.
“Some of it is just a gut feeling. If I like it, hopefully someone else is going to like it too,” said Mazzilli, the owner of the gift shop Lily & Kate, one of downtown Ramsey’s newest businesses. For years, Mazzilli worked as a buyer and gift shop manager for the Market Basket in Franklin Lakes. Needing a change, she left last January. “I really didn’t know what I wanted to do … I took a couple months and chilled,” the longtime Ramsey resident told Daily Voice.But the downtime didn’t last long.
“I really missed the gift shop business … It was something I was good at and I enjoyed helping customers,” she said. Mazzilli began scouting for business locations and brainstorming store names.
In August, she opened Lily & Kate at 66 East Main Street. Her friend calls her “Lily” as a nickname, and “Kate” is short for her daughter, Katheryn, she said “The name stuck,” she said.
The store sells items like hostess and housewarming gifts, jewelry, home décor, and accessories like scarves, hats and gloves. “We listen to customers and bring things in that customers may be looking for,” she said. Some items are designed specifically for the Bergen County resident in mind – such as wooden signs and stone coasters with the names of towns like Midland Park, Woodcliff Lake, Ho Ho Kus, Glen Rock, Saddle River and Emerson. Mazzilli also tries to support local artisans. The store features jewelry made by a Ridgewood woman, pottery made by a Mahwah woman, and hand-beaded serving wear made by a Wyckoff woman. “I like buying local,” she said. She is thankful that others like buying local too. “The town of Ramsey and the surrounding community has really supported us,” she said. “The people coming here actually walk the walk and shop local.”
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.