Arkansas Department of Education Receives $35,000 Grant From Verizon to Provide Training for Teachers to Use Innovative, Free Online Resources at Thinkfinity.org

The Arkansas Department of Education has received a $35,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to train teachers to use the free educational resources available on Thinkfinity.org and raise awareness of the resources.

With the grant, announced Wednesday (Feb. 23), the Verizon Foundation has now invested $70,000 with the education department to provide innovative online resources and professional development for teachers throughout the state.

Verizon Thinkfinity.org (www.thinkfinity.org) is a comprehensive educational program that includes tens of thousands of free educational resources to make learning fun. Parent-friendly resources, in-class activities and homework help can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject.

Verizon's Thinkfinity.org offers to 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 quickly to high-quality online resources.

"The department is pleased to be a recipient of this grant and a partner with the Verizon Foundation," said Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell. "These funds will be used to support our goals of promoting 21st century skills and core academic competencies among our students and educators."

In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational organizations, Thinkfinity.org offers a free, robust professional-development program for teachers and trainers. Thinkfinity.org also includes the Thinkfinity community (http://community.thinkfinity.org), an online spot where parents, administrators and teachers can share ideas, ask for assistance, discuss the topics of the day, and connect with colleagues and experts across the country.

Verizon's grant to the education department will be used to:

  • Raise awareness of the Thinkfinity portal with educational institutions in Arkansas.
  • Promote integration of technology into the curriculum, improvement of the teaching practice and improved student achievement in the standards-led curriculum.
  • Provide demonstrations on how to use the Thinkfinity portal in the classroom.
  • Modeling of technology integrated lessons and resources in the Thinkfinity portal.
  • Share with small and large groups the work in the area of 21st century skills, in preparation for the NAEP 2014 Technology Literacy Assessment.
  • Collaborate with the regional service centers, higher education institutions and educational associations to provide training in the use of the Thinkfinity portal.

"A solid educational foundation is one of the greatest investments you can give a child, and we are proud to be able to provide this resource to our future leaders," said Steven R. Smith, president - South Central region, Verizon Wireless.  

Content for Thinkfinity 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,  Council for Economic Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of  Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.