Wilmington Montessori School (WMS) has expanded its technological capabilities, thanks to a $17,500 grant from the Verizon Foundation. This January, WMS hosted William Allan, President of Verizon Delaware, and Lauren Petrusky, Executive Assistant to the President, from Verizon Delaware and demonstrated the ways in which the school has already benefited from the Verizon grant.

The grant supports WMS's vision and five-year strategic plan, which includes the goal to sustain an innovative model of education that develops and supports children's creativity, innovation, critical thinking, understanding of diverse cultures and collaboration. By integrating technology into classroom instruction, children are exposed to developmentally appropriate activities that enhance their appreciation of the diverse world community.

"Our approach to technology at Wilmington Montessori School has grown by leaps and bounds. Already, we've seen great progress in evolving from a ‘computer class' model to more integrated use of technology across our programs and curriculum," said Linda Zankowsky, Head of School.

The grant has allowed WMS to purchase more than a dozen new laptop computers for its classrooms, giving students greater access to online resources and more opportunity to develop their technological fluency. In addition, Wilmington Montessori School faculty received training in Verizon's online resource, ThinkFinity, which provides comprehensive teaching and learning resources from leading educational sources. This partnership brings WMS a trusted online resource, as well as additional hardware to engage its students, while sharing feedback with Verizon on lesson presentation through an independent, Montessori educational perspective. During last week's visit, WMS sixth-grader Anna Morrione and Karen Grandell, a teacher for WMS's 9-12 program, demonstrated how they used ThinkFinity as a resource for both preparing a lesson as a teacher and researching and preparing for a presentation as a student. Karen adapted a lesson designed for high school students on the topic of natural resources that she had found on ThinkFinity; Anna demonstrated her comprehension of the lesson by giving a presentation on a natural resource of her choice - sunflowers.

The Verizon Foundation has made a big difference here at Wilmington Montessori School," Zankowsky said. "Their support of our growing technology program has opened new opportunities for our students to think, analyze and communicate in new ways. We are thrilled to help assist Verizon's plans for the future around the materials presented on ThinkFinity."

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