COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Resource Center (ORC) for Mathematics, Science, and Reading has received a $58,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to train teachers throughout the state to use thousands of free educational resources available on Thinkfinity.org in partnership with Ohiorc.org.
Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive online portal to more than 55,000 educational and literacy resources for teachers, parents and students. Resources include standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and engaging interactive activities provided in partnership with many of the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations.
The organization will use the grant to:
- Provide professional development opportunities rooted in Thinkfinity and ORC to classroom teachers statewide through on-site and online training.
- Raise awareness of Thinkfinity.org and ORC resources and professional development opportunities to educators statewide.
- Develop an efficient mechanism for searching both ORC's collection and Thinkfinity's database.
"This partnership with Thinkfinity will enable ORC to expand its services to Ohio's teachers," said Dr. Peggy Kasten, executive director of the Ohio Resource Center. "Educators throughout Ohio are searching for quick and efficient means of gathering best practices to provide exciting and valuable learning experiences for their students. ORC and Thinkfinity deliver the highest quality online lessons and materials, aligned to Ohio's academic content standards and geared to inspire and motivate students from pre K through adult."
ORC was conceived in 2000 by the State University Education Deans in Ohio and operates under legislative mandate through the Ohio Board of Regents at the College of Education and Human Ecology of The Ohio State University. Governed by an executive committee and with an advisory board of representatives of the major educational systems and entities throughout the state of Ohio, ORC's charge is to:
- Identify effective instructional and professional development resources and best practices and disseminate them to schools, school districts and higher education institutions.
- Support sustained professional development for teachers and administrators in the effective adoption of best practices and teaching resources.
- Foster an integrated educational research and development capacity for Ohio through collaboration with colleges and universities involved in teacher preparation.
Thinkfinity.org offers elementary through high school teachers resources across eight academic disciplines, from science to English to mathematics, to improve student achievement. Thinkfinity.org is designed to help teachers gain access to online resources quickly.
"Whether it's an English teacher looking for resources to spark a love of reading in a student, or a parent seeking a convenient and user-friendly educational activity to stimulate the mind of a young child, Thinkfinity.org will help them quickly and easily find the information needed to improve student achievement," said Todd Colquitt, state president for Verizon.
Since its inception, ORC has used teachers and university educators to review online material, including much of the content of Thinkfinity, in order to point Ohio educators at the most valuable and usable teaching practices it highlights.
To make the Thinkfinity site even more valuable to teachers, students and parents, the Verizon Foundation recently announced several enhancements and improvements, including:
- The addition of 500 new resources.
- Individual portals to allow users to search for resources targeted to educators, students, parents or after-school programs.
- A dynamic new look.
- A simple, more comprehensive search engine.
- Ability to search for resources tailored to individual state standards.
In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations, Thinkfinity.org also offers a comprehensive professional development program that allows teachers to sign up for free online or face-to-face training to learn how to make the most of Thinkfinity.org tools.
The face-to-face training will be arranged and led by ORC Ambassadors who have received in-depth instruction from Thinkfinity.org trainers and ORC personnel.
ORC will continue to develop professional learning experiences for teachers, schools, and school districts throughout Ohio to assist educators in using Thinkfinity resources and the many other resources it showcases on its Web site in an effective manner.
Content for Thinkfinity.org is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 11 of the nation's leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Reading Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy, National Council on Economic Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy Worldwide and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.
For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
For more information on the Ohio Resource Center, visit www.ohiorc.org.
The Ohio Resource Center for Mathematics, Science, and Reading is an independent project granted to the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. It receives is base funding through the Ohio Board of Regents as a service of the state of Ohio. All online resources are freely available to Ohio educators at its website, www.ohiorc.org. Resources are aligned to Ohio's Academic Content Standards and judged using a rubric developed by a national panel of experts. ORC continues to develop resources, professional learning experiences for educators, and student learning tools and opportunities.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 67 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.