FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brian C. Malina
Kansas State Department of Education Receives $34,500 Grant From Verizon to Provide Training for Teachers to Use Innovative, Free Educational Resources at Thinkfinity.org
Verizon Thinkfinity Also Offers Free Educational Resources for Parents, Students and After-School Programs
TOPEKA—April 20, 2010—The Kansas State Department of Education announced today that it has received a $34,500 grant from the Verizon Foundation to raise teachers’ awareness of the free educational resources available on Verizon Thinkfinity and to train teachers to use those resources.
Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org) contains thousands of free, engaging educational resources that make learning fun, including K–12 lesson plans, in-class activities and videos that can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject. Thinkfinity resources are aligned to state and national standards and offer elementary through high school teachers resources across eight academic disciplines, from science to English to mathematics, to improve student achievement.
“Thinkfinity provides important and valuable standards based resources for our K–12 instructional staff. The resources support our district’s efforts to successfully address 21st Century skills with our students,” remarked Jim Clark of the Instructional Technology Department at Wichita Schools.
Susan Pendergast, Assistant Director of Technology at Seaman USD 345, has incorporated Verizon Thinkfinity’s educational resources into classroom instruction for nine years and has even made it a part of the new teacher technology orientation training.
“Verizon Thinkfinity, along with their educational partners, provide teachers access to lesson plans for all subject areas, grade level, resource type and/or partner content with an easy to use search engine all for free,” praised Pendergast. “Teachers locate educational resources including maps, photographs, images, audio files, video, manipulative activities, and simulations to supplement their classroom instruction. Using interactive boards, students are able to engage in the learning activities. Teachers also send home Thinkfinity resource information for parents to use with their students that need additional support. Teachers can save many hours of searching out materials by starting with Thinkfinity!”
In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation’s leading educational organizations, Verizon 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 Verizon Thinkfinity tools.
The grant announced today will be used to:
• Provide teacher stipends to attend Thinkfinity Field Training.
• Provide teacher stipends to help align lesson plans to Kansas State Curricular Standards.
• Provide professional development opportunities to classroom teachers, college of education faculty/staff and students statewide through on-site and online training.
• Provide Thinkfinity.org resources aligned to state standards to educators and students through the Kansas State Department of Education’s educator resource portal—or Web site.
• Raise awareness of Verizon Thinkfinity resources and professional development opportunities to educators statewide.
“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 achievement,” said Verizon Wireless President Brendan Fallis, Kansas/Missouri Region.
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, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org), 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.
The Kansas State Department of Education is located in Topeka, Kansas. Its mission is to provide leadership for K–12 schools in the area of accreditation, standards, assessments, finance nutrition, Special Education and Career & Technical Education. For information about the Verizon Thinkfinity program in Kansas e-mail Jeannette Nobo at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (785) 296-2078.
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 89 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 230,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $97 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
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