Teachers to Receive Training on Online Resources Available at Thinkfinity.org as part of $53,950 Verizon Grant

RICHMOND, Va. - The Verizon Foundation announced Sunday (Feb. 24) that it has awarded a $53,950 grant to the Virginia Department of Education to train teachers to use the free educational resources available on Thinkfinity.org and to raise awareness of the program within the state. Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's free, comprehensive program and online portal to 55,000 educational resources, including standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and interactive tools and materials for students provided in partnership with many of the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations.

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 to online resources quickly and requires no passwords or software downloads.

"Thinkfinity.org provides teachers with a vast collection of lesson plans, interactive tools and Web sites to enhance instruction across the curriculum," said Tammy McGraw, director of the office of educational technology at the Virginia Department of Education. "The grant from the Verizon Foundation will support efforts to raise awareness of the availability of these resources and training so teachers can make the most of everything Thinkfinity.org has to offer."

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

The grant will be used to:

  • Develop a Certified Trainer Network composed of highly trained instructional technology resource teachers and library media specialists who will then, in turn, develop Virginia-specific materials and training experiences for teachers.

  • Implement online learning management and collaboration tools to provide training and support.

  • Raise awareness of Thinkfinity.org resources and professional development opportunities to educators statewide by working with various state educational organizations.

Robert W. Woltz Jr., Verizon Virginia president, said, "Teachers are often our unsung heroes, working hours outside of the classroom to prepare the best possible lesson plans to engage their students. Through Thinkfinity.org, teachers gain immediate access to quality educational resources to more efficiently develop their lesson plans, giving them more time to work directly with students."

Content for Thinkfinity.org 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, National Council on Economic Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy Worldwide 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 signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. 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 Verizon's inception in 2000.

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

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 66 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.