Verizon Foundation Announces Availability of $25,000 in Education Grants

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Verizon Foundation is helping Rhode Island public schools better prepare students to succeed in the 21st century.  Amid the increased focus on student achievement, public schools across Rhode Island are invited to apply for grants that use the Verizon Foundation's Thinkfinity.org, an online education resource, to improve student learning.

The foundation will award grants of $5,000 each - a total of $25,000 - to five public schools across Rhode Island to integrate Thinkfinity.org into the classroom.  Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive online portal that offers 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 is a great education tool that helps educators prepare students for the 21st century, and helps the students reach their full potential," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president of New England.  "We want to encourage public school educators to use Thinkfinity.org in the classroom to help our children gain the skills needed to be successful in a global economy." 

More information on the grant process is available at www.verizon.com/ri.  Interested public schools should apply by April 6.

The Verizon Foundation recently awarded $25,000 to support a partnership with RI NET and the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to train teachers to use Thinkfinity.org in the classroom.  The partnership is providing professional-development opportunities to classroom and pre-service teachers statewide through on-site and online training, and resources to create a Rhode Island network of Thinkfinity trainers. 

The Web site offers 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 lesson plans, interactive activities, primary sources, references and other authoritative resources that can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject or resource type.

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 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 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 80 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 224,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.