18 Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations Reap $210,000 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, 18 nonprofit organizations throughout the commonwealth have received $210,000 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:

  • The Learning Lamp, Johnstown - $15,000

  • Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg - $15,000

  • North Penn School District Education Foundation, Lansdale - $15,000

  • Indian Valley Boys & Girls Club, Lansdale - $15,000

  • Wood-to-Wonderful, Bernville - $10,000

  • Lancaster County Library, Lancaster - $10,000

  • Chester County Community Foundation/American Association of University Women - $10,000

  • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Neighborhood Development Trust Fund, Scranton -- $10,000

  • Literacy Council for Schuylkill County, Pottsville - $10,000

  • Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Lewisburg - $10,000

  • Philadelphia Safe & Sound, Philadelphia - $10,000

  • Nueva Esperanza, Philadelphia - $10,000

  • Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, Philadelphia - $10,000

  • Community Action Southwest, Washington - $10,000

  • Beginning With Books, Pittsburgh - $10,000

  • Valley Points Family YMCA, New Kensington - $10,000

  • Community Action, Inc., Punxsutawney - $15,000

  • ARIN Intermediate Unit #28, Indiana - $15,000

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 $4 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.

Verizon is committed to being America's literacy champion. The company is conducting a national campaign to increase community awareness and to generate additional funding and support of literacy programs for adults, children and families. Working under the banner of Verizon Reads, a private charity, the award-winning philanthropy program reaches out to the nearly 40 million Americans who have low literacy skills. For more information on Verizon Reads, visit www.VerizonReads.net.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of 212,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 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.