New Jersey Teacher Wins a Verizon $10,000 Technology Makeover Grant for Her Classroom

Rosemary Smith, a fourth-grade teacher at Byram Lakes Elementary School in Stanhope, has won a $10,000 technology makeover grant for her classroom by participating in the Verizon Thinkfinity Home Run Sweepstakes.

Smith was one of more than 1,700 teachers in the greater New York metropolitan area who entered the free, month-long contest. Verizon Thinkfinity.org is a comprehensive educational website that contains tens of thousands of free, engaging educational resources.

"Our school's budget has been significantly cut this year, so this money will certainly come in handy," Smith said.  She plans to use the money to purchase interactive whiteboards, which make it possible to control a computer by tapping, writing or drawing on an image of the desktop that has been projected onto a screen.  

"The children love the interactive features, and they can be used for so many unique things, she said.  "Our students will benefit from this money for years to come."

Smith will receive the grant on June 27 at Citi Field prior to the New York Mets' hosting the Minnesota Twins.  The Mets are providing 50 free tickets for Smith's students and their parents so that they can be on hand when she is presented with a check for $10,000.

"Verizon Thinkfinity is truly a home run for students, teachers and parents, providing easy access to thousands of fun, free educational resources including videos, podcasts and online interactives," said Joseph Scaccia, director of finance and operations for the Verizon Foundation. "We're proud to partner with the New York Mets to provide Ms. Smith and her students with a memorable afternoon at the ballpark and, more importantly, access to educational tools that will enrich the classroom when students return to school in the fall."

The Home Run Sweepstakes coincides with a significant expansion of Verizon Thinkfinity that includes:

  • An increase in parental and after-school resources.
  • An online Thinkfinity Community where parents, administrators and teachers can share ideas and ask for assistance or discuss the topics of the day.
  • Newsfeeds on the latest educational news.

In addition to providing tens of thousands of free educational resources for parents, teachers and students, Verizon Thinkfinity offers a comprehensive professional-development program that provides teachers with free online or face-to-face training. Verizon Thinkfinity also offers literacy resources to assist adult learners.

Content for Verizon 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, Council for Economic Education, International Reading Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy, 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 supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded $67.9 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 $26.1 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 5 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 nearly 93 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 217,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.