National Center for Family Literacy Receives $400,000 Grant From the Verizon Foundation to Create Elementary School and Preschool Resources for Thinkfinity.org

The National Center for Family Literacy has announced that it has received a $400,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to expand the center's partnership with Verizon Thinkfinity.

The NCFL will develop a host of new online resources for parents, teachers and caregivers, focusing on literacy for preschoolers and children in kindergarten through third grade. Many of the resources will be available in both English and Spanish. 

The grant was announced Monday evening (April 12) at the 2010 National Conference on Family Literacy in San Antonio. 

"Developing early literacy skills is a key component to ensuring children learn and excel in the classroom and in life," said Sharon Darling, president and founder of the NCFL. "These new resources will provide parents with easy-to-use tools to use in their role as their children's first teacher and dramatically expand our 10-year partnership with the Verizon Foundation."

All resources created by the NCFL will be available for free on Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org). Verizon Thinkfinity is a comprehensive educational Web site that contains thousands of free, engaging educational resources that make learning fun. Lesson plans, in-class activities and homework help can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject.

"Through Verizon Thinkfinity, every parent, teacher and  professional care provider in reach of the Internet will have easy access to world class resources as their child takes his or her first steps on a path of lifelong learning," said Patrick Gaston, Verizon Foundation president.  "This expansion of Verizon Thinkfinity is just one of many exciting changes coming to Thinkfinity in the coming months."

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, 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.

The National Center for Family Literacy is the worldwide leader in family literacy. More than    1 million families have made positive educational and economic gains as a result of NCFL's work, which includes training more than 150,000 teachers and thousands of volunteers. For more information, contact 1-877-FAMLIT-1 or visit www.famlit.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 91 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 approximately 222,900 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.