Delaware's Diamond State Reading Association Receives More Than $22,200 in Literacy Grants Through Verizon's 'Check Into Literacy' Program

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

Thanks to Verizon's Delaware landline telephone customers who participated in the company's innovative Check Into Literacy Program, the Diamond State Reading Association (DSRA) has received a $22,252 grant.  The funds will support the Delaware Teacher's Learning and Lending Library, which will provide teachers with educational resources to improve the quality of literacy instruction in the state.

"Literacy is a major focus of Verizon's philanthropic efforts, and the work of the Diamond State Reading Association has a long-term, lasting effect on building stronger, more literate communities," said William R. Allan, president of Verizon Delaware.  "Verizon's Check Into Literacy program gives our customers an opportunity to show how much they care about our communities through their donations."

The program allows Verizon landline 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 the customers live in.

Contributions from Delaware residents are part of the more than $1.1 million given to more than 100 literacy organizations throughout the country through the Check Into Literacy Program.

The DSRA is subsidiary of the Internal Reading Association (IRA), a nonprofit, global network of individuals and institutions committed to worldwide literacy.  Through the Delaware Teacher's Learning and Lending Library, the DSRA will help teachers facilitate book clubs to share best practices, lend books to educators for 30 to 60 days, and provide other services to improve the quality of reading instruction.

In addition, school libraries across the state will receive new books through the Delaware Diamonds project, which encourages students to read a minimum number of books from a list of titles and then vote for the one book that they think is a special find, called a Delaware Diamond.

"We are extremely grateful to Verizon, our literacy partner, for providing the Check Into Literacy program," said Dr. Tina Huff, IRA coordinator for Delaware and assistant superintendent for the Capital School District.  "Through the support of this program, the Diamond State Reading Association will be able to provide classroom teachers with professional development resources and school librarians with a motivational reading program along with the Delaware Diamond books."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 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 an additional $26 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 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: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 87 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.