Lesley University Receives $65,000 Grant From Verizon to Expand Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers Using Thinkfinity.org

BOSTON - The Verizon Foundation awarded a $65,000 grant Thursday (Nov. 20) to Lesley University to collaborate with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and help teachers across the state use Thinkfinity.org to improve student achievement.

The award, which brings to $130,000 the funding the Verizon Foundation has provided to Lesley University for teacher-training and development programs, was announced at the annual Massachusetts Computer Using Educators Conference in Sturbridge. Thinkfinity.org was demonstrated to teachers and other conference attendees.

The grant will provide professional-development opportunities to classroom and pre-service teachers statewide through on-site and online training; resources to create a Massachusetts network of Thinkfinity trainers; and a mechanism to ensure that Thinkfinity resources are aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's 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.  The Web site is designed to help elementary through high school teachers gain access to high-quality online resources across eight academic disciplines, from science to English to mathematics, to improve student achievement.

"The collaboration between Lesley University and the DOE is unique and is vital to the success of this program," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president of New England.  "This collaboration, along with Thinkfinity.org, will help teachers prepare students for success."

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 and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of K-12 education through its educational Web site, 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 71 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 228,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.