Educators Rate MarcoPolo 'Best Site' for Free Lessons and Materials

NEW YORK -- MarcoPolo has been rated the top free Web site for downloading educational material to use in the classroom, according to a survey conducted by Edutopia Magazine. The site, www.marcopolo-education.org, is a partnership among leading educational organizations and the Verizon Foundation.

Voted the "best site to download free lessons and material," MarcoPolo beat out other well-known education Web sites including DiscoverySchool.com, Education World, PBS and Scholastic Teacher.

Edutopia, published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, recently conducted the survey among the magazine's readers, most of whom are educators and higher-education professors. MarcoPolo, which was launched by MCI in 1997, provides high-quality, Web-based content and professional development free of charge for kindergarten-through-12th grade teachers and students.

"We are thrilled with the level of response and the passion our readers exhibited for Edutopia's first annual readers' survey," said Kate Rodler, the magazine's publisher. "Without a doubt, our readers feel very strongly about the products and services they use to engage students and inspire learning."

Nationwide, more than 225,000 educators have participated in training to use MarcoPolo as a curriculum tool.

The MarcoPolo site is a gateway to seven discipline-specific sites, with resources furnished by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Council on Economic Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, International Reading Association, National Council of Teachers of English, American Association for the Advancement of Science and National Geographic Society. The areas of study covered include the arts, economics, humanities, mathematics, reading and language arts, geography and science.

Based on national education standards, MarcoPolo saves teachers time and school systems money by offering educators 42,000 cross-disciplinary resources designed to keep the 21st century student interested, engaged and learning.

Verizon delivers technology that touches people's lives. The Verizon Foundation uses that technology and its financial resources to improve literacy and K-12 education; help families victimized by domestic violence; and improve the delivery of health care. In 2005, the foundation awarded more than $74 million in grants to charitable and nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, one of the largest employee volunteer programs in the United States, responsible for 2 million hours of community service since 2000 and $35.6 million in combined contributions to nonprofits in 2005 alone.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.