Verizon Awards $50,000 Grant to Provide Georgia Teachers With Training to Use Thinkfinity.org's Free Online Resources

ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Education received a $50,000 grant Wednesday (May 7) from the Verizon Foundation to raise awareness of the thousands of free educational resources available on Thinkfinity.org and to provide teachers throughout the state with free training to use those resources.

Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive online portal to more than 55,000 educational and literacy resources for teachers, parents and students. Resources include standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and engaging interactive activities 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 high-quality online resources quickly.

The Verizon Foundation announced the grant Wednesday morning at Parkside Elementary School, Atlanta, where teacher Michele Alford taught her class, using interactive Thinkfinity.org resources.

The grant will be used to:

  • Provide professional development opportunities to classroom teachers statewide through on-site and online training.

  • Raise awareness of Thinkfinity.org resources and professional development opportunities to educators statewide.

"As we strive to lead the nation in improving student achievement, it's crucial that we have these types of partnerships with the business community," said Kathy Cox, Georgia superintendent of schools. "While we're rolling out our more rigorous curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards, Thinkfinity.org is providing additional resources for our teachers so they're prepared to deliver top-notch instruction in the classroom.  On behalf of all Georgia students and teachers, I extend my thanks to Verizon for their commitment to education."

To make the Thinkfinity site even more valuable to teachers, students and parents, the Verizon Foundation recently announced several enhancements and improvements to Thinkfinity.org, including:

  • The addition of 500 new resources.

  • Individual portals to allow users to search for resources targeted to educators, students, parents or after-school programs.

  • A dynamic new look.

  • A simple, more comprehensive search engine.

  • Ability to search for resources tailored to individual state standards.

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

"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 achievements," said Michelle Robinson, Verizon senior vice president, Southern region.

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, 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 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 more than 67 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 employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.