Middlesex County Educational Technology Training Center Receives $100,000 Grant From Verizon to Expand Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers Statewide Using Thinkfinity.org

The Middlesex County Educational Technology Training Center has received a $100,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to continue to raise teachers' awareness of the free educational resources available on Thinkfinity.org and to train teachers from around the state how to use those resources. 

With the grant, announced Friday (Nov. 6) at the New Jersey Education Association convention in Atlantic City, the Verizon Foundation has now invested more than $150,000 with the Middlesex ETTC. The organization, run by the East Brunswick school system, provides innovative online resources and professional development for teachers statewide.

Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's free, comprehensive Web site containing thousands of educational resources, including standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans, online educational games, videos and other materials provided in partnership with many of the nation's leading educational organizations.

Verizon's 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 quickly to high-quality online resources.

"Thinkfinity.org provides a free, safe, standards-based educational portal," said Jo Ann Magistro, superintendent, East Brunswick Public Schools.  "Every lesson plan or Web site found through Thinkfinity has been created or approved by 11 of the nation's leading educational organizations. Thinkfinity helps our students use the 21st century skills needed by today's global citizens."

In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational organizations, Thinkfinity.org also offers a free, robust professional-development program for teachers and trainers.

NJEA President Barbara Keshishian said, "Thinkfinity is a featured program in High Tech Hall at our annual convention this week. NJEA members will have the opportunity to learn how to integrate Thinkfinity into their lesson planning and instruction. The scope and quality of the Thinkfinity program make it an important tool for teachers of all grade levels and content areas. This grant will ensure that even more teachers will learn about the benefits of this valuable program."

The grant will be used to continue the statewide rollout of Verizon Thinkfinity by:

  • Expanding the network of New Jersey trainers who deliver Thinkfinity professional development to classroom teachers.

  • Increasing the number of customized on-site and online training sessions that are specifically designed to meet the needs of New Jersey educators.

  • Broadening professional-development opportunities for students and faculty members at New Jersey's colleges of education, providing the newest teachers with tools and strategies that help them succeed.

"Our world is continually changing, and with the continual updates and expansion of Thinkfinity.org, teachers throughout New Jersey have quick access to a constant flow of new educational materials," said Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey.   "We are proud to partner with East Brunswick schools and the NJEA to bring these resources to the teachers and students in New Jersey, for free."

Content for 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, the International Reading Association, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy,  Council for Economic Education, 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.