‘The Electric Company’ and Verizon Announce Partnership to Provide Free Educational Resources Online Through Thinkfinity.org

MEDFORD, Mass. – The Verizon Foundation and Sesame Workshop’s Emmy Award-winning series, “The Electric Company,” announced on Tuesday (April 26) a partnership to bring the dynamic, kid-friendly educational resources from “The Electric Company” to the public through Thinkfinity.org.

Thinkfinity.org is an educational website, funded by the Verizon Foundation, that provides thousands of free educational resources to teachers, parents and students to use in and out of the classroom. “The Electric Company” resources on Thinkfinity offer exciting curricular games, printable activities, and videos for both educators and children. The Verizon Foundation provided a $100,000 grant to Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” to create resources that have been added to Thinkfinity.org.

“Technology can be a key component in helping teachers engage and excite children about learning,” said Donna C. Cupelo, Verizon region president-New England. “Verizon is proud to partner with ‘The Electric Company’ to provide these dynamic literacy resources to give students the skills they need to succeed in the classroom.”

“The Electric Company” is a multimedia literacy campaign designed to reach today’s 6- to 9-year-olds, not only on television, but wherever they are: in the community, in after-school programs, on mobile devices and online. This project will leverage and extend the reach and impact of Electric Company innovative resources and tools, which are designed to help address the nation’s achievement gap by promoting literacy learning in grades one through three.

The partnership was announced at an event at McGlynn Elementary School in Medford, at which Electric Company stars Chris Sullivan (“Shock”) and Dominic Colon (“Manny Spamboni”) entertained more than 100 second-grade students.

“Thinkfinity is a website that teachers know and trust; therefore the partnership of ‘The Electric Company’ and the Verizon Foundation is a perfect fit and natural extension for our literacy program,” said Mel Ming, chief operating officer for Sesame Workshop. “By providing free Electric Company educational resources to students, parents and educators, we’re extending the mission of our multimedia literacy initiative into the classroom and beyond.”

The partnership announcement precedes the launch of the transmedia portion of the third season of “The Electric Company” on May 2. Airing in a new segment at the end of the TV series and a new area of the Electric Company website, this transmedia story engages and immerses participants in an experience through multiple forms of media. The outstanding content of “The Electric Company” has been widely recognized and garnered multiple honors including a Kidscreen Award, a Best in Class award from the Interactive Media Council, and Emmys for both the television show and website.

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 to learn how to make the most of Verizon Thinkfinity tools. It also includes the Thinkfinity Community, an online spot for teachers, administrators and parents to ask questions, share ideas and discussion education topics of today.

About

Additional 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.

About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark “Sesame Street.” The workshop produces local “Sesame Street” programs, seen in over 140 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap, including “The Electric Company.” Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org.

About Verizon
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 more than 93 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 195,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

Media Contacts

Phil Santoro, Verizon
philip.g.santoro@verizon.com
617-743-4760
Brian C. Malina, Verizon
Brian.c.malina@verizon.com
908-559-6434
Alicia Durand, Sesame Workshop
Alicia.Durand@sesame.org
212-875-6223