Eleven Pennsylvania Public Schools Receive More Than $150,000 in Verizon Foundation Grants for 21st Century Teaching and Learning Initiatives

Teams of teachers in 11 school districts across the state will have access to an array of new educational resources to help them develop mathematics and literacy courses, thanks to $150,000 in grants from the Verizon Foundation.

As part of the grants, the teams will receive training on Pennsylvania's new Standards Aligned System (SAS) Ed Portal and the use of Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org), the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive educational Web site.  The mathematics and literacy lessons developed by the teams will be aligned with Pennsylvania's new SAS.

The Verizon Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced the grant recipients Wednesday (Dec. 9) during the department's Using the Standards Aligned System to Ensure 21st Century Teaching and Learning Institute being held at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center.  The awardees are:

  • John Marshall #41, Scranton - $20,000.

  • North Hills School District, Pittsburgh - $20,000.

  • Laurel Junior/Senior High School, New Castle - $16,000.

  • Karns City Area School District, Karns City - $15,000.

  • Panther Valley Senior High School, Lansford - $15,000.

  • Quakertown Community Freshman Center, Quakertown - $14,600.

  • Franklin Area Middle School, Franklin - $12,750.

  • East Pennsboro Area Middle School, Enola - $10,000.

  • Halifax Area Middle School, Halifax - $10,000.

  • Slippery Rock Area School District, Slippery Rock - $10,000.

  • Valley View School District, Archbald - $10,000.  

Earlier this year, the Verizon Foundation, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, issued a request for proposals, allowing school districts across the state to compete for grants from the foundation totaling more than $150,000 for training on Pennsylvania's new SAS and Verizon Thinkfinity resources.

"We were pleased with the number of innovative proposals submitted by schools across Pennsylvania, but even more impressed with the commitment by teachers to participate in this endeavor," said Gale Y. Given, president, Verizon Pennsylvania.  "Thinkfinity and Pennsylvania's new SAS provide educators with tools to help them prepare students for future academic success.  The Verizon Foundation is thrilled to support educators in their quest to challenge students to reach even higher goals."

Dr. Ed Vollbrecht, director of the Department of Education's Bureau of Teaching and Learning Support, said the grants will complement the state's work in developing its standards-aligned system.

"The schools receiving these grants will help further build and define the concepts and competencies that are an important part of the voluntary curriculum framework being developed in Pennsylvania," he said.

Verizon Thinkfinity contains thousands of free, engaging educational resources that make learning fun, including K-12 lesson plans, in-class activities and videos that can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject. In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational organizations, Verizon Thinkfinity 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 Verizon Thinkfinity tools.

Content for Verizon Thinkfinity 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, Council for Economic Education, International Reading Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy and the Smithsonian's 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 free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  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 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 89 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 230,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.