Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore Gets New Computer Learning Center, Funded With $25,000 From Verizon

BALTIMORE - Gov. Martin O'Malley, State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and Baltimore City Public Schools chief. Andrès A. Alonso joined Verizon officials Monday (March 30) at Frederick Douglass High School to celebrate the official opening of the school's new state-of-the-art computer learning center. The center was made possible by a $25,000 donation from Verizon. 

The new facility is equipped with 30 new laptops, a wireless router for Internet connectivity, and a Promethean interactive whiteboard.

The Verizon Foundation also announced a $75,000 grant to Maryland Public Television  to raise awareness and train teachers throughout the state to use thousands of free educational resources available on Verizon's Thinkfinity.org Web site.  Thinkfinity.org resources will be integrated with Maryland Public Television's education Web site, Thinkport.org.

In a hands-on demonstration, Frederick Douglass High School teachers showed the governor and other school officials how Thinkfinity.org resources can be used to help improve student achievement.  The computer learning center will be one of several locations throughout the state where teachers can receive training to use Thinkfinity.org.

"Working together as one Maryland, we can arm students and teachers with the tools they need to compete internationally in the emerging knowledge-based economy," the governor said. "As we continue to make vital investments in the skills and talents of our people and in America's No. 1 public school system, we will continue to leverage valuable partnerships like this one with Verizon to keep Maryland's students among the best in the world." 

Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's free, comprehensive Web site that contains thousands of educational resources including K-12 lesson plans, online educational activities, videos and other materials to enhance teacher effectiveness and improve student achievement.

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.

"The exciting thing about the Verizon grant is the teacher learning," said Alonso.  "Teachers need to know how to create classroom activities that use the lesson plans, interactive learning games and home study materials from the Thinkfinity Web site.  Training will help teachers integrate these learning resources so they can bring a new and exciting digital dimension into the learning environment - one they can adapt to different learning styles."

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 online or face-to-face training to learn how to make the most of Thinkfinity.org tools.

"In order to reach and teach today's youth and properly prepare them for the 21st century workplace, technology must be part of the classroom learning environment," said Robert J. Shuman, president and chief executive officer of Maryland Public Television.  "We thank Verizon for the opportunity to partner and integrate our education initiatives - Thinkport.org with Thinkfinity.org - and provide the resources necessary to help train our teachers to effectively use these important high-quality tools."

William R. Roberts, Verizon's regional president in Maryland and Washington, D.C., said, "Verizon has a long-standing tradition of working to improve the communities where we live and work by supporting organizations that strive to make a difference in the lives of individuals.

"Through our partnerships with Baltimore City Public Schools, Frederick Douglass High School and Maryland Public Television, we hope to open many doors of opportunity for those who want to learn and teach," Roberts added.  "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."

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.

About Baltimore City Public Schools
Baltimore City Public Schools is one of the most historic public school districts in the United States.  The school system is home to the oldest all girls public high school in the country and to the third oldest high school overall.  It serves the youth of the city of Baltimore.  In 1997, the Baltimore City Public School System became separate from the government when partial control was ceded to the state in exchange for increased funding.  Now, the mayor and the governor jointly appoint the school board that oversees the system.  The school board appointed CEO Dr. Andrès Alonso in the summer of 2007 to run the school system.  He officially began work on July 1, 2007.  For more information, visit www.baltimorecityschools.org.

About Maryland Public Television
Maryland Public Television (MPT) is a not-for-profit, state-licensed public television station, which serves the citizens and communities of Maryland, and beyond through a variety of broadcast and non-broadcast activities to fulfill MPT's mission to educate, enlighten and entertain.  MPT's long-standing commitment to education provides the K-12 education and child care communities with extensive on-air programs, online content, and professional development training.  Thinkport.org is an education Web site developed by MPT and the Johns Hopkins Center for Technology in Education that provides teachers, students and families with rich multimedia content, online professional development and resources to extend learning into the home.  To learn more visit www.mpt.org

About the Verizon Foundation
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.

About Verizon
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.