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Kentucky Teachers to Receive Free Online Resources and Training Through Thinkfinity.org as Part of a $50,000 Grant
Apr 01, 2008 (10:04 AM EDT)


LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kentucky Department of Education received a $50,000 grant Tuesday (April 1) from the Verizon Foundation to raise awareness and train teachers throughout the state to use thousands of free educational resources available on Thinkfinity.org.

Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's 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.

Thinkfinity.org offers elementary through high school teachers resources across eight academic disciplines, from science to English to mathematics, to improve student achievement. Thinkfinity.org is designed to help teachers gain access to online resources quickly.

The Verizon Foundation announced the grant at the National Center for Family Literacy's National Conference on Family Literacy in Louisville. The National Center for Family Literacy is a Thinkfinity.org partner and provides content for the Web site. The grant will be used to:

-- Provide professional development opportunities to classroom teachers statewide through on-site and online training. -- Raise awareness about Thinkfinity.org resources and professional development opportunities to educators statewide.

"Thinkfinity.org's resources are aligned with Kentucky's Program of Studies and Core Content for Assessment, providing teachers with matched lesson plans in a variety of subjects," said Kentucky Education Commissioner Jon E. Draud. "This grant will provide us with the means to train educators so that they may immediately access the wealth of information available."

To make the Thinkfinity site even more valuable to teachers, students and parents, the Verizon Foundation recently announced several enhancements and improvements to Thinkfinity.org, including:

-- The addition of 500 new resources. -- Individual portals to allow users to search for resources targeted to educators, students, parents or after-school programs. -- A dynamic new look. -- A simple, more comprehensive search engine. -- Ability to search for resources tailored to individual state standards.

In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations, Thinkfinity.org also offers a comprehensive professional development program that allows teachers to sign up for free online or face-to-face training to learn how to make the most of Thinkfinity.org tools.

"Whether it's an English teacher looking for resources to spark a love of reading in a student, or a parent seeking a convenient and user-friendly educational activity to stimulate the mind of a young child, Thinkfinity.org will help them quickly and easily find the information needed to improve student achievements," said Michelle Robinson, Verizon senior vice president, Southern region.

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 Worldwide and the Smithsonian 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 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 .

Verizon Communications Inc. www.verizon.com , 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 66 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 nearly 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit .

VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, high-quality video and images, and other information are available at Verizon's News Center on the World Wide Web at www.verizon.com/news . To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.

CONTACT: Brian C. Malina, +1-908-559-6434, brian.c.malina@verizon.com; orLisa Y. Gross, Kentucky Department of Education, +1-502-564-2015,

Web site: http://www.verizon.com/ http://www.Thinkfinity.org/ http://www.verizon.com/news/ http://www.verizon.com/foundation/

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