Verizon Foundation Unveils Enhancements and Additions to Innovative Thinkfinity.org Web Site, Providing Free Educational Resources and Training to Teachers

NEW YORK - Innovative changes, enhancements and additions to the popular Thinkfinity.org Web site were unveiled Friday (March 7) at WNET's Teaching & Learning Celebration here.

Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's free, comprehensive program and online portal to 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 education and literacy organizations.

Improvements to Thinkfinity.org announced by the Verizon Foundation and its partners include: 

  • 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.

Also on Friday, the Verizon Foundation presented a $160,000 grant to the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) to train teachers throughout the state to make the most of the free resources on Thinkfinity.org. The institute will conduct the training through its partnership with New York State Teacher Centers.

"This generous grant will facilitate NYIT's efforts through our Center for Technology Based Learning Systems to bring Thinkfinity's terrific resources to teachers in every school district throughout the state," said Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., president of NYIT. "We are proud of our ongoing partnership with the Verizon Foundation and the New York State Teacher Centers on this innovative and unquestionably valuable project."

Since the launch of Thinkfinity.org in March 2007, the Verizon Foundation has committed more than $32 million nationally to update and expand Thinkfinity.org and provide training to teachers.

"Thinkfinity.org has been a tremendous resource for me, providing easy access to a wide range of lesson plans and activities to spark the imagination," said Ira Faber, a teacher at Middle School 226, District 27, in New York City. "The new enhancements, particularly the decision to align to individual state standards, will make Thinkfinity.org even more valuable to teachers."

In addition to offering free access to thousands of educational resources, 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 best make use of the Thinkfinity.org tools.

"The improvements announced today will allow the wonderful resources of Thinkfinity.org to reach an even larger audience of parents, teachers and students," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "Whether it's a history teacher looking for resources to bring the past to life, or a parent seeking an educational activity to stimulate the mind of his or her young child, Thinkfinity.org will help them quickly and easily find the information needed to improve student achievement."

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.

About NYIT
NYIT is the university of choice for more than 15,000 students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs in areas including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions, behavioral, and life sciences; management; and osteopathic medicine. A leading globalizer in higher education, NYIT has pioneered the use of new technology within the classroom since 1955. Students attend classes at campuses in Manhattan and Long Island, as well as online and at campuses in the Middle East, China and Canada. As a private, nonprofit, independent institution of higher learning, NYIT embraces an educational philosophy of career-oriented professional education for all qualified students and supports applications-oriented research to benefit the greater global community. To date, more than 73,000 alumni have earned degrees at NYIT. For more information, visit www.nyit.edu.

New York Teachers Center
In 1984, the New York State Legislature established Teacher Resource and Computer Training Centers through Education Law 316.  Commissioner's Regulation Part 81 provides further program guidance.  Program and funding expansion through the years supports this $40 million statewide professional development network of over 130 Teacher Centers that serve over 685 public school districts, 35 BOCES and over 1000 non-public and charter schools. A brief summary of the number of teacher and administrator participants each year in various  professional development topic areas include: over 54,000 participants in technology, over 100,000 in school community initiatives, over 150,000 in instructional strategies, over 45,000 in State and national initiatives including training on Thinkfinity.org Web-based resources and lessons on the Department's Virtual Learning Space, over 40,000 in curriculum development, over 325,000 in professional support, over 30,000 in special populations, over 13,000 in societal issues, over 34,000 in comprehensive planning and planning for required Professional Development Plans and Mentoring Plans, and over 25,000 participants in programs on other topic areas.

About Verizon Communications
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.