K-12 High Speed Network and Verizon Announce Partnership to Provide Free Online Resources Through Thinkfinity.org to Help California Educators

The California K-12 High Speed Network (K12HSN), a state-funded education program, and the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, unveiled Thursday (Sept. 17) a new initiative that will provide free online resources for California teachers, parents and students, through Verizon's Thinkfinity.org.

Under the initiative, announced at simultaneous news conferences at Thomas A. Edison Middle School in Los Angeles and the state Capitol in Sacramento,  Verizon will provide a $125,000 grant to enable K12HSN to coordinate Thinkfinity activities - including providing comprehensive professional development for teachers and trainers - throughout California. This partnership is designed to broaden awareness of Thinkfinity resources and their capacity to support K-12 teachers in California. 

Thinkfinity.org is a free, comprehensive Web site containing more than 55,000 educational resources, including standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans, online educational games, videos and other materials provided in partnership with many of the nation's leading educational organizations.

"We are pleased to be working with the Verizon Thinkfinity program and the vast resources it brings to California's educators," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.  "This is a critical time in education.  Partnerships such as these will help our classrooms embrace opportunities technology brings as they work to close the achievement gap." 

Tim McCallion, Verizon West region president, said: "Whether it's a science teacher looking for interactive resources to explain how gravity works or a parent seeking assistance to help their child on a history report, Thinkfinity.org will help them quickly and easily find the information they need. Verizon is proud to partner with California's education community to help our students achieve."

Todd Finnell, CEO of K12HSN, Verizon's Thinkfinity State Education Partner in California, said: "The K12HSN is excited to partner with the Verizon Thinkfinity program. Its robust collection of resources from outstanding content providers is now combined with the statewide reach of our distribution and support network. We're proud to support California educators with increased access to these high-quality supplemental resources."

Assemblymember John Pérez, the Democratic Caucus chair, said: "Given the economic downturn, private-public partnerships in education are particularly important to support teaching and promote academic achievement in California.  The new partnership between Verizon Thinkfinity and K12HSN provides teachers with the tools they need to provide excellent instruction to California's students."

The Verizon Foundation 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 K12HSN
The California K-12 High Speed Network (K12HSN) is a program funded by the California Department of Education. K12HSN provides network connectivity, Internet services, teaching and learning application coordination, as well as videoconferencing coordination and support for California's K-12 public schools. The program was established in an effort to increase learning opportunities for all K-12 students while expanding professional development and information resources to teachers and school administrators. K12HSN seeks to expand K-12 access to rich content resources and increase awareness of appropriate high-quality educational resources and applications that are available to teachers, students and administrators. For more information, visit http://www.k12hsn.org.

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: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 more than 87 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.