Finding free educational resources and online activities to engage students during the summer and help them retain the academic skills they learned during the school year just got easier, thanks to a plethora of free materials available on the Verizon Foundation's Thinkfinity.org.
According to the National Center for Summer Learning, based at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, all young people experience learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. For example, studies cited by the center show that most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills, and low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement.
To help address this problem, Verizon's Thinkfinity.org has created a special Summer Learning feature that includes many engaging activities and resources created by some of the nation's leading educational organizations.
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.
Resources highlighted in the Summer Learning feature include:
- Invention At Play: This site, which is part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, challenges students to explore, question, invent and collaborate to make their own discoveries. Grades K-12. http://www.inventionatplay.org/
- OurStory: In this resource from the National Museum of American History, parents and children can explore American history through museum objects, hands-on activities and neighborhood field trips. Each themed activity is centered on a recommended work of children's historical fiction to keep reading skills sharp. Grades K-12. http://americanhistory.si.edu/ourstory/
- Writing a First Resume: Both during the summer and the school year, many teens are interested in getting a part-time job or volunteering to help build their work experience. This activity from the International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English's ReadWriteThink.org will help teens create a professional resume to effectively present their skills and talents. Grades 9-12. http://www.readwritethink.org/beyondtheclassroom/summer/grades9_12/Resume/ Additional summer learning resources for grades K-12 can also be found at ReadWriteThink.org's Beyond the Classroom feature at http://www.readwritethink.org/beyondtheclassroom/summer/
- Calculation Nation: Through this online game from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, students can challenge opponents from anywhere in the world. At the same time, students are able to challenge themselves by investigating significant mathematical content and practicing fundamental skills. Grades K-12. www.calculationnation.com/
- Summer Science Fun: Through this portal from the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science NetLinks, students, parents and teachers have access to a wide-range of experiments and interactive computer games to demonstrate how science impacts daily life. Grades K-12. http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/summer/
- We The People Bookshelf: This resource from the National Endowment for the Humanities' EDSITEment contains a list of books for K-12 students that capture the theme of Picturing America. In addition, this resource also contains related lesson plans and links to reviewed Web sites. http://edsitement.neh.gov/wtpbookshelf/.
"For students to truly have the best opportunity to succeed, learning must not end when the school year does," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "Learning must be a constant pursuit, and these valuable resources from Verizon's Thinkfinity.org and its many wonderful content partners will help keep children engaged and excited about learning throughout the summer months."
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, 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 National Museum of American History.
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.
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 86 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 237,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.