The Florida Center for Instructional Technology Receives $60,000 Grant From Verizon to Provide Training for Teachers to Use Innovative, Free Educational Resources at Thinkfinity.org

The Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida's College of Education has received a $60,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to raise teachers' awareness of the free educational resources available on Verizon Thinkfinity and to train teachers to use those resources. The announcement was made Thursday (Sept. 23) at Pinellas Park High School.

Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org) contains thousands of free, engaging educational resources that make learning fun, including K-12 lesson plans, in-class activities and videos, all of which can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject.

Verizon Thinkfinity resources are aligned to state and national standards and offer teachers resources across eight academic disciplines, from science to English to mathematics, to improve student achievement.

The grant follows a $60,000 contribution made to the Florida Center of Instructional Technology in 2009, also for Thinkfinity training as a part of the Florida Digital Educator program at the center.

"Verizon Thinkfinity will continue to be an integral part of Florida's efforts to create a strong technology learning environment and provide training and support to all educators, said Dr. Roy Winkelman, director of the Florida Center of Instructional Technology. "It's very exciting to partner with an organization that supports community involvement, access to educational tools and resources, and the development of information and communication technology skills to improve educational achievement for our students."

In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational organizations, Verizon 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 Verizon Thinkfinity tools.

The grant will be used to:

  • Provide professional development opportunities to classroom teachers, college of education faculty/staff and students statewide through on-site and online training.
  • Utilize Thinkfinity.org resources to enable a strong personalized learning environment through ICT skills and technology integration into core curricula.
  • Raise awareness of Thinkfinity.org digital content and the Thinkfinity community, as well as professional development opportunities to educators statewide.

"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 Julie Smith, Verizon's vice president of external affairs for the Southeast region.

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 website, Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org), and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded $67.9 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 $26.1 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 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ: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 92 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 last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.