16 Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations Reap $265,000 in Literacy Grants from Verizon

PHILADELPHIA - A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills in local communities and giving people the opportunity to succeed.

Thanks to Verizon telephone customers in Pennsylvania who participated in Verizon's innovative Check Into Literacy program, 16 nonprofit organizations throughout the commonwealth have received $265,242 in grants to support their literacy programs.

The Check Into Literacy program allows Verizon telephone customers to support literacy by checking a box on their monthly phone bills to make a $1 tax-deductible donation to Verizon Reads, a public charity established by Verizon and committed to promoting literacy throughout the United States. Verizon Reads then distributes those donations to local literacy organizations that serve the state the customers live in.

"One of the most effective tools to promote literacy arrives in your mailbox each month: your Verizon phone bill," said James V. O'Rourke, president and CEO of Verizon Pennsylvania. "Verizon customers who participate in this program show how much they care about our communities through their donations, and we applaud them for it."

Verizon Reads awarded grants to the following organizations:

  • Adult Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown - $20,000
  • Delaware County Literacy Council, Chester - $10,000
  • Scranton Council of Literacy Advance, Clarks Summit - $15,000
  • The Inner-City Neighborhood Art House, Erie - $13,400
  • The Family YMCA of Lower Bucks County, Fairless Hills - $15,000
  • The Londonderry School, Harrisburg - $25,000
  • Adult Literacy Lawrence County, New Castle - $7,500
  • Mayor's Commission on Literacy, Philadelphia - $14,842
  • Philadelphia READS/Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, Philadelphia - $15,000
  • CORA Services, Philadelphia - $20,000
  • Beginning With Books, Pittsburgh - $17,500
  • Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, Pittsburgh - $17,500
  • Chester County Community Foundation, West Chester - $22,500
  • Literacy Council of Reading, West Lawn - $22,000
  • Osterhout Free Library, Wilkes-Barre - $20,000
  • York County Literacy Council, York - $10,000

Verizon's Check Into Literacy program has been a successful way of reaching out to the company's millions of telephone customers and increasing their awareness of and support for literacy programs. It has enabled Verizon customers to join with Verizon Reads to impact literacy programs in their communities. The program is in all Verizon markets except New York and has raised more than $2.6 million in customer donations since its inception in 1999. Anyone who wants to make a one-time contribution or donate more than $1 a month can go online to www.superpages.com and access the literacy donation site.

Through Verizon's signature literacy program, Verizon Reads, the company works to increase community and corporate awareness of the effects of low literacy on individuals and communities. Verizon also raises funds, encourages collaboration among literacy providers and promotes employee volunteerism and customer involvement in support of literacy programs around the country. To learn more about Verizon Reads and what customers can do to support literacy initiatives in their communities, go online to www.verizonreads.net.

Verizon Communications Inc.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. With a diverse work force of approximately 208,000, Verizon has four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband, nationwide long-distance and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.