News Release

South Carolina Schools Have Opportunity To Earn $50,000 In Science, Technology, Engineering And Math Education Grants

Verizon Foundation's Thinkfinity.org Grants to Help Students Improve 21st Century Skills

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April 10, 2011

Karen Schulz
Karen.Schulz@VerizonWireless.com
864-987-2006

GREENVILLE, SC — Amid an increased focus on student achievement in South Carolina, public schools in the state are invited to apply for $50,000 in grants for programs that use the free resources from the Verizon Foundation's Thinkfinity.org, to improve students’ skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The Verizon Foundation will award grants of $5,000 each to 10 public schools in South Carolina to integrate Thinkfinity.org, an online education resource, into the classroom. More information on the grant process is available at www.verizonfoundation.org. Interested public schools should apply online by June 3.

Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive online portal that offers more than 55,000 educational and literacy resources for teachers, parents and students – all of which are at no cost to the school or educator. 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.

“In South Carolina, there is an increased focus from our education leaders to ensure our students have a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Jerry Fountain, Verizon Wireless president for the Carolinas/Tennessee region. “Educators across the state are using Thinkfinity.org to help our children maximize their educational experience and become strong academic achievers.”

Grant applicants should be aware of and plan to incorporate the Verizon Thinkfinity infrastructure already in place in South Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) has partnered with the Verizon Foundation to roll out Thinkfinity to provide 21st century learning resources for South Carolina educators and students.

Through a grant from the foundation, South Carolina is offering Verizon Thinkfinity Professional Development to educators throughout the State through the SCDE Office of eLearning's Instructional Technology Coach program. The South Carolina Department of Education is supporting the development of Field Trainers. Field Trainers are now available to be used by local districts. The SCDE also offers an online course called Verizon Thinkfinity for SC Educators four times a year; additional courses may be added as necessary depending on grant awarded districts and schools.

The Thinkfinity Web site offers teachers resources across eight academic disciplines, including science, English and math, to improve student achievement. Thinkfinity.org is designed to help teachers gain access to lesson plans, interactive activities, primary sources, references and other authoritative resources that can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject or resource type.

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 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 91 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 approximately 222,900 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

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