Eight Pennsylvania Boys & Girls Clubs Selected as Finalists for Verizon Foundation Technology Grants

PHILADELPHIA -- Just as the wildly popular "American Idol" gave fans the chance to vote for the television show's winner, Verizon Foundation, in an innovative approach to philanthropy, is giving all Pennsylvanians the chance to select one winner of its grant competition for technology-based literacy projects.

In April, Verizon invited Boys & Girls Clubs within its service territory to compete for $250,000 in grants that emphasized innovative use of technology, had widespread impact in the community, and demonstrated partnerships and collaborations. Individual grants will range from $10,000 to $50,000.

"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, Verizon Pennsylvania president and CEO. "We're challenging parents, business organizations and leaders to rally behind these worthwhile projects to support the Boys & Girls Clubs in their areas by getting out the vote," said O'Rourke.

The eight finalists meeting Verizon Foundation criteria are the Boys & Girls Clubs of Allentown, Chester, Lancaster, North Penn, Northeast Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Caring People Alliance (CPA) of Philadelphia.

Verizon is providing two different options to make it easy and convenient for people to cast their votes:

TXT Messaging -- Dial 1-800-762-1786

Voting can be done from any mobile phone and is not limited to Verizon Wireless customers. Just follow the simple voice prompts after dialing. Voters should check their calling plans for fees and charges that may apply.

Verizon Pennsylvania Web Site

Go to: www.verizon.com/pennsylvania

To get to the voting section, click on PA Boys & Girls Club RFP VOTE and choose one program by clicking on the "radio button" listed alongside the name of the Boys & Girls Club of your choice.

The community vote will run through July 8. The proposal receiving the majority of votes will receive an award from Verizon Foundation for the full amount reflected in the winning club's proposal for its project. Once the community vote is tallied and the winner selected, the other finalists' proposals will be reviewed and announcement of the respective grants will be made on or before Sept. 1.

Verizon Foundation is committed to helping people and communities make progress every day. The foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

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 www.verizon.com.