Verizon Foundation Supports Innovative Educational Efforts to Teach Lessons Tied to Black History Month

NAACP Launches Interactive Timeline, Available on Verizon Thinkfinity

The stories and accomplishments of African-American history will come to life during February, Black History Month, for thousands of students across the U.S. with help from Verizon Thinkfinity. At the heart of this effort is the new NAACP Interactive Historical Timeline, a dynamic multimedia experience.

Students are invited to embark on a remarkable journey to investigate the history of this civil rights organization, founded in 1909, its role in the civil rights movement and an array of other issues - through the written word, interviews, pictures and film. The Verizon Foundation funded the timeline project with a $500,000 grant and will make it available to teachers, students and parents through Verizon Thinkfinity.

The interactive timeline is a powerful learning tool that provides links to educational resources and lessons presented by celebrity narrators, such as Laurence Fishburne, actor, director producer and playwright. "Each point on the timeline is filled with personal stories of sacrifice and triumph," Fishburne said. He invites visitors to "look around, explore, discover and learn."

"Using technology to expand educational opportunity for all is a key mission of the Verizon Foundation," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "We are proud to partner with the NAACP to bring important lessons of the past to the students of today in a dynamic, engaging format. And we are happy to add information from the NAACP timeline to the robust pool of teaching resources available through Verizon Thinkfinity."

New Feature on
Verizon Thinkfinity is also introducing a new feature in time for Black History Month that highlights free lesson plans, teacher resources and student activities centered on African-American history - all in one place so they are easy to find and use. A few of the compelling opportunities for learning include:

  • Martin Puryear's Ladder for Booker T. Washington
    The National Endowment for Humanities invites students to examine Puryear's ladder sculpture, learn about Washington's life and legacy and explore the African-American experience though his perspective.
  • Martin Luther King Teaching Resources
    Science NetLinks and the American Association of Science provide resources from the social and behavioral sciences to help students celebrate the work and legacy of Dr. King.
  • Science Update: Spotlight on African-American Scientists
    Exciting 60-second audio features engage students in the latest discoveries in science, technology and medicine.
  • National Geographic Underground Railroad
    National Geographic asks students to imagine: "You are a slave. You have never tasted freedom. And yet . . ." The activities involve students in an interactive journey to freedom, experiencing history and emotion along the way.
  • W.E.B. Du Bois
    The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, with funding from the Verizon Foundation, is digitizing an estimated 100,000 works by Du Bois. Once complete, the Thinkfinity Black History Month section will link to his articles, essays and correspondence with historical giants, such as Albert Einstein and Mohandas Gandhi.

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