51 Nonprofit Organizations Reap $250,000 in Literacy Grants From Verizon

A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills in communities across New Jersey while also giving people the opportunity to succeed.

Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers in New Jersey who participated in the company's Check Into Literacy program, 51 nonprofit organizations throughout the state received $250,000 in grants to support literacy programs.  Verizon presented checks for the grants to the nonprofits at a ceremony on Tuesday (Sept. 14) in Livingston.

"This program is a classic example of how we can work hand-in-hand with our customers to promote literacy and education in New Jersey," said Dennis M. Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey.  "Education is a major focus of Verizon's philanthropic efforts, and these grants will give thousands of New Jerseyans the building blocks they need to learn and become more productive members of our society."

The 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. 

Among the local organizations that received grants through the Check Into Literacy program are Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, Covenant House New Jersey Inc. in Newark, LADACIN Network in Wanamassa, Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey - BookMates in Cherry Hill and Woodland Community Development Corp. in Camden.  A full list of recipients can be found at www.verizon.com/nj.

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.