Delaware School for the Deaf Receives Literacy Grant Through Verizon's Check Into Literacy Program

NEWARK, Del. - A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills in Delaware while also giving people the opportunity to succeed.

Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers who participated in the company's Check Into Literacy program, Verizon Delaware President, William R. Allan Wednesday (Oct. 8) presented a grant for $28,729.86 to the Delaware School for the Deaf (DSD) to upgrade its lending library program and to integrate advanced technology in its classrooms.

The grant brings to more than $50,000 the total amount that Verizon's Delaware customers have contributed through the Check Into Literacy program since 2006. The initiative allows Verizon landline phone customers to check a box on their monthly bills to make a $1-a-month, tax-deductible donation.

"This is a classic case of a little bit going a long way to address a significant challenge for our society," said William R. Allan, president of Verizon Delaware. "All students are entitled to an educational program that allows them full access to knowledge, information and ideas, as well as opportunities to grow and develop to their maximum potential. The ability to read opens the door to all possibilities.  Verizon strongly supports efforts through our foundation and employee volunteerism to produce a more literate America, and the Check Into Literacy program is an easy way for our customers to join us in our efforts."

The following DSD projects have received Check Into Literacy grants over the past two years:

  • Integrating Advanced Technology in the Classroom - - $43,899 for a program that provides access to information in American Sign Language (ASL) and English. The technology includes document cameras, LCD projectors and SMART boards.  These interactive white boards can be used by the teachers and students to create more visual representation of English print as well as to enhance pictures and other visual elements that lead to development of language and literacy lesson activities. 

  • Lending Library Program - $6,458.86 for upgrading the lending library of resources that provide support to parents for developing competency in sign language as well as story-telling skills in sign language. Literacy skills are the foundation of all learning and begin developing at an early age when students are exposed to books and story telling by parents.  More than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents who have not yet developed the necessary skills to communicate in sign language with their child. The library materials enable parents to increase their skills while allowing their child to experience a variety of books, with signed versions of the stories available on videotape.

The Delaware School for the Deaf serves not only deaf and hard-of-hearing children statewide, but also children who are deaf and blind.

Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers who support Check Into Literacy, nonprofit organizations in 26 states and Washington, D.C., will receive more than $1.15 million this year to bolster literacy efforts. The participating states are: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

About the Verizon Foundation:
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.  For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com