A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills in communities across Virginia while also giving people the opportunity to succeed.
Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers in Virginia who participated in the company's Check Into Literacy program, 32 literacy-focused nonprofit organizations throughout the commonwealth received grants totaling $45,787. (See list of nonprofits at the end of the release.)
"Education is a major focus of Verizon's philanthropic efforts, and these grants will give many Virginians the building blocks they need to learn and become more productive members of our society," said Robert Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia. "The Check Into Literacy program is a classic example of how we can work hand-in-hand with our customers to promote literacy and education in Virginia."
Mark Emblidge, executive director of the Virginia Literacy Foundation, said, "One million adult Virginians do not have the literacy skills needed to be successful in today's world. Verizon is one of the leading corporations in Virginia and in the U.S. that have reached out to these adults to help give them a second chance at a bright future."
The Check Into Literacy program allows Verizon landline telephone customers to support literacy by checking a box on their monthly phone bills to make a $1 tax-deductible donation to promote literacy. Verizon then distributes these donations to local literacy organizations that serve the individual states in which the customers live.
Since the program began nearly 10 years ago, Virginia nonprofits have received more than $400,000 to help improve adult literacy levels.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational website, Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org), and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded $67.9 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $26.1 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 92 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
The following Virginia nonprofit literacy organizations received grants in part made possible by Verizon's Check Into Literacy Program:
BEACON for Adult Literacy, Bristow; Bristol Public Library Foundation; Literacy Volunteers - Campbell County Public Library; Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle; Commonwealth Catholic Charities, Richmond; Culpeper Literacy Council; Eastern Shore Literacy Council, Inc., Belle Haven; Literacy Volunteers of Fauquier County; Literacy Volunteers of Gloucester, Inc.; Halifax County Volunteer Literacy Program; Highlands Educational Literacy Program, Inc., Abingdon; The Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington Inc. - Hogar Hispano Immigrant Services, Falls Church; Loudoun Literacy Council, Inc.; Adult Community Education, Louisa; Lynchburg Literacy Council, Inc.; Literacy Council of Madison County, Inc.; Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley, Christiansburg; Literacy Council of Northern Virginia; Peninsula READS, Hampton; Pittsylvania County Literacy Program; Literacy Volunteers of America-Prince William, Inc.; Progreso Hispano, Alexandria; Project Literacy, Danville; The READ Center, Richmond; Rita Welsh Adult Literacy Program, Williamsburg; Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley; Literacy Volunteers - Shenandoah County; Skyline Literacy, Harrisonburg; Smyth County Adult Literacy Enrichment (S.C.A.L.E.); The Child and Family Network Centers, Alexandria; Virginia Literacy Leadership Council, Richmond; Literacy Volunteers-Winchester Area