Verizon Grant of $60,000 Will Enable Michigan Teachers to Receive Free Training for Using Thinkfinity.org's Online Resources

LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Education received a $60,000 grant Tuesday (Aug. 12) from the Verizon Foundation to raise awareness and train teachers throughout the state to use thousands of free educational resources available on Thinkfinity.org.

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 online resources quickly

"In Michigan's efforts to re-imagine how education is delivered to children, online instruction will be a key component of this transformation," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan.  "Providing teachers with a vast reservoir of online resources will help power this educational evolution.  We thank Verizon and the partnership Michigan will have with Thinkfinity.org, and the resources necessary to help train our teachers to learn how to use this important tool."

The grant will be used to market the Michigan Online Resources for Educators (MORE) portal that will house the Thinkfinity resources and for training teachers on how to integrate the resources found on the portal into their classroom instruction.

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

The face-to-face training will be arranged and led by Michigan Intermediate School District trainers who have received in-depth instruction from thinkfinity.org trainers.

"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 achievement," said Gale Given, president of Verizon's central 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 nearly 69 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 more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.