BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Acclaimed children's author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds has been selected as the Verizon Foundation's newest Thinkfinity.org champion.
Reynolds, who will volunteer his time and talent to raise awareness and support literacy and education initiatives, joins past honorees including Boston Red Sox team captain Jason Varitek, world-class athlete and advocate for the visually impaired Erik Weinhenmayer, and CBS television star Eric Close.
Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's free, comprehensive online portal to more than 55,000 educational and literacy resources for teachers, parents and students. Resources include standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and engaging interactive activities provided in partnership with many of the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations.
Reynolds, the author and illustrator of numerous best-selling books for children ("The Dot," "Ish," "So Few of Me"), will make his first appearance as a Thinkfinity.org champion on July 1 at the National Education and Computing Conference (NECC) in San Antonio. He will join Close, star of CBS-TV's "Without a Trace," to lead an audience of 300 teachers through an interactive demonstration to show how technology can help create engaging classroom material to excite students and simplify classroom preparation for teachers.
"The Verizon Foundation is thrilled to have Peter H. Reynolds as an ambassador for our signature education program," said Lou Laste, Verizon Foundation director of communications. "Peter has embraced the theme of lifelong learning and creativity in his many books and educational projects, and we know his passion and enthusiasm as a Thinkfinity.org champion will be contagious."
In addition to his work with the Verizon Foundation, Reynolds also plays a key role with several Boston-based literacy organizations, including EverybodyWins! Metro Boston, Literary Lights for Children, Reach out and Read, and ReadBoston. He recently completed a literacy project for the National Writing Project and the College Board, called "Our Book By Us!/Nuestro Libro ¡Hecho Por Nosotros!" The unique, bilingual activity-book, featuring six original stories, provides parents and caregivers at home a hands-on, collaborative coaching tool to help youngsters begin to develop literacy in an effective, holistic way.
Along with his creative and philanthropic pursuits, Reynolds and his identical twin brother, Paul, founded FableVision Inc., an award-winning educational media company, located at The Boston Children's Museum.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, 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.
About Peter H. Reynolds
Peter H. Reynolds' creative journey began in his 7th grade math class, when his teacher pulled him aside for drawing during lessons. Rather than scolding, Reynolds' teacher gave him a project: combine art and storytelling to illuminate a math concept. Decades later, as the internationally-acclaimed author and illustrator of numerous bestsellers ("The Dot," "Ish," "So Few of Me"), creator of popular animated film shorts ("The Blue Shoe," "Living Forever," "He Was Me"), and founder of educational media company FableVision, Reynolds has made it his mission to promote "off-the-path" learning and deliver "stories that matter." His cornerstone work, "The North Star" (FableVision), has inspired children and "grown-up children" around the world as a book, curriculum, and musical. Reynolds has illustrated the New York Times bestselling "Judy Moody" series (Candlewick Press), as well as the cover of Judy Blume's "Fudge" series (Dutton). In 2007, Reynolds' illustrations for Alison McGhee's "Someday" netted the storybook Amazon.com's Best Picture Book of 2007 award and a spot at No. 1 on the New York Times Best-Seller List for nearly two months.
About Verizon Communications
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 67 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 employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.