Basking Ridge, New Jersey – April 2, 2018 – Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) will invest more than $200 million in additional funds towards Verizon Innovative Learning, providing immersive next-gen technology, teacher training, STEM curricula and connectivity to under-resourced students across the United States. To date, Verizon has invested $200 million in education and reached one million students.
With its new total investment of more than $400 million over the next five years, the company announced its goal to double the number of in-school programs it supports from 100 middle schools, beginning in September 2018, to 200 middle schools by the end of 2020. Verizon will also give these schools access to 5G and continue programs in urban and rural communities that expose students to skill-building in augmented reality, machine learning, coding, 3D printing and more, reaching a total of an additional five million students by 2023.
“Verizon has become increasingly concerned about the chasm between those Americans who are prepared to thrive in the digital age, and those who are not,” said Lowell McAdam, Chairman and CEO of Verizon. “Our mission, which we call “Humanability,” is to give people the ability to do more in this world— that’s why it’s paramount we invest to give kids the technology education and resources they need to succeed”.
Participating Verizon Innovative Learning schools receive in-depth and ongoing teacher training, curriculum guides, tablets and 4G LTE data plans. Some also receive innovation labs outfitted with the latest equipment and connectivity. Students in Verizon Innovative Learning programs have demonstrated increased proficiency in reading and math* with the majority of students more engaged in school.**
Beginning today through April 15th, Verizon is calling on the public to nominate a local middle school in need for the opportunity to become a Verizon Innovative Learning school. Advocates should quote tweet and/or reply to one of a series of videos posted to the @Verizon Twitter handle, highlighting impactful stories from the program, along with the school name and location, using #Humanability.
Verizon’s investment in STEM education will take the national stage tonight during the NCAA National Championship game with the debut of a new ad under Verizon’s “Humanability” platform. The 60-second film, directed by documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, shines a spotlight on the issue of the digital divide, featuring teachers and students who are participants in Verizon Innovative Learning programs.
“You become a public school teacher for one reason,” said Dawn Martesi, a teacher in a Verizon Innovative Learning program in Bristol, PA who is featured in the ad. “You believe in the potential that every kid has when they walk in the door, and you know that when they leave you they can become anything. I can’t wait for ten years from now when I get to talk to them again and see who they are.”
“Verizon Innovative Learning’s objective is to ensure that all children have every conceivable opportunity to be successful and make a positive impact on the world,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for Verizon. “By 2020, nearly eight in ten jobs will require technology skills and we all must work together to provide the education and resources students need to realize the possibilities of their brighter future.”