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NEWS RELEASES 2010-11

NEWS RELEASES 2010-11 :: MARCH 3, 2011

NCDPI RECEIVES $40,000 GRANT FROM THE VERIZON FOUNDATION

NC Teachers to Receive Training and Access to Educational Resources on Thinkfinity.org

State Superintendent June Atkinson today announced that the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) has received a $40,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to provide teachers with training on how to use free online educational resources available on Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org). Verizon District Manager David Threet presented a check to Atkinson and State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison at the State Board meeting in Raleigh.

Verizon Thinkfinity features thousands of free K-12 lesson plans, in-class activities and videos that can be searched by grade level, keyword or subject. These resources are aligned to the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics, which will be taught in North Carolina classrooms beginning in 2012-13.

"Thinkfinity.org puts a variety of free, high quality instructional tools at educators' fingertips, and this grant from the Verizon Foundation will help us make sure more North Carolina teachers know how to find and use this valuable website," said State Superintendent June Atkinson.  "Especially in challenging economic times when so many resources are limited, innovative public-private partnerships such as this one enable us to continue to move forward with efforts to increase student success."

The grant announced today will be used to provide training to a cadre of professionals including NCDPI staff, K-12 teachers and representatives from higher education who will travel to the state's 115 school districts and charter schools to teach educators how to use Verizon Thinkfinity.org. A portion of the grant also will be used to partner with LEARN NC to align resources available on Verizon Thinkfinity.org to North Carolina's new Essential Standards in science, social studies and other subject areas, which will be implemented in classrooms starting in 2012-13.

  "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 Jerry Fountain, president for the Verizon Wireless Carolinas/Tennessee Region.

In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational organizations, Thinkfinity.org also offers a comprehensive professional-development program that allows teachers to sign up for free online or face-to-face training. The site also features the Thinkfinity Community (community.thinkfinity.org) where educators and other users can interact with each other, other state partners, content partners, national Thinkfinity team members and others, on any education-related issue. 

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, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 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 94.1 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 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com .

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.