NEW YORK — Just in time for Black History Month, Verizon Thinkfinity has added a new feature highlighting free lesson plans, teacher resources and student activities to bring the inspiring stories of black leaders to life.
From the contributions of prominent leaders such as a W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, to the advances brought about by black scientists, to the story of the Underground Railroad, Black History Month provides a tremendous opportunity for teachers to share these valuable lessons with their students.
The Verizon Thinkfinity Web site contains thousands of free, engaging educational resources that make learning fun. Lesson plans, in-class activities and homework help can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject.
Among the resources included in the Verizon Thinkfinity feature for Black History Month, which is observed in February, are:
• Martin Puryear’s “Ladder for Booker T. Washington”: In this resource from the National Endowment for Humanities’ Edsitement, students examine Puryear’s “Ladder for Booker T. Washington” and learn about Washington’s life and explore the African-American experience through Washington’s perspective.
• Martin Luther King Teaching Resources: A set of social and behavioral science resources from the American Association for the Advancement’s Science Netlinks to celebrate King’s work and legacy.
• Science Update, Spotlight on African-American Scientists: In this series of 60-second audio podcasts from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, students can hear African-American scientists talk about their work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine.
• National Geographic Underground Railroad: In this interactive online activity from National Geographic, students take part in an online journey through the eyes of a slave selecting different paths or answers that will lead him or her to freedom, or back to the plantation.
• W.E.B. Du Bois: The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is digitizing an estimated 100,000 works by W.E.B. Du Bois. Once complete, the Verizon Foundation-funded project will include more than 4,000 articles, essays and books, as well as correspondence with historical figures such as Albert Einstein and Mohandas Gandhi. A link to the University’s online Du Bois collection is included in the Thinkfinity Black History Month feature.
“Black History Month presents a tremendous opportunity for teachers to raise awareness of the valuable lessons of black history,” said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. “Through Verizon Thinkfinity, teachers will have easy access to dynamic educational resources to bring these valuable lessons to life.”
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 National Museum of American History.
The Verizon Foundation 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 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $67.5 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 $26.1 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 Verizon Foundation.
Brian C. Malina