Eight Pennsylvania Boys & Girls Clubs To Receive $225,000 in Verizon Foundation Grants

PHILADELPHIA - The people have spoken.

Through an innovative approach to philanthropy by Verizon Foundation, the North Penn Valley Boys & Girls Club topped seven other statewide Boys & Girls Clubs in a community-voting contest and won a $50,000 grant. North Penn Valley will use the funds to enhance its "Club Tech" program, which integrates technology into the club's core areas.

Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, gave all Pennsylvanians the chance to select the top winner of its grant competition for technology-based literacy projects. People cast their votes by using wireless phone text messaging or Verizon Pennsylvania's Internet Web site. More than 3,200 votes were cast for the eight projects.

"Technology is dramatically changing the way kids learn by bringing some of the best and most effective learning tools into schools, clubs and community-group settings," said James V. O'Rourke, president and CEO, Verizon Pennsylvania. "This grant showcases Verizon's commitment to supporting programs that use technology to educate the future leaders of tomorrow while strengthening the economic vitality of our communities.

"We are pleased that so many people took the time to become involved in these worthwhile projects by casting their votes," said O'Rourke. "By voting, the community demonstrates the value they place in these organizations and helps us validate our support."

The $50,000 grant reflects the full amount the North Penn Valley Club, which is based in Lansdale, requested in its original proposal. The seven runner-up grant recipients are:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Allentown - $25,000 to enhance language arts and reading through the use of wireless desktop computers.

  • Caring People Alliance in Philadelphia - $30,000 to expand the KidzLit project - an intensive reading and writing program - in three community centers.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Chester - $10,500 to expand its Boys & Girls After-School Tutoring (B.A.G.A.T.) program through the use of computer-assisted instruction.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster - $9,500 to establish a more comprehensive Power Hour program to provide youth with access to computers and enable tutors to assist with homework and reading.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Pennsylvania - $20,000 for its "Opening New Frontiers: Reading Enhancement Through Computers" program, in partnership with volunteers from Lackawanna College, to provide children in the Greater Scranton and Luzerne County communities with greater access to technology.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia - $50,000 to enhance Chatterbox, an interactive project that promotes reading and literacy skills during non-school hours.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania - $30,000 to expand KIDZLit in eight club branches through the purchase of software targeting reading comprehension and logical thinking programs.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 136.6 million access line equivalents and 33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit http://www.verizon.com.