Former Dallas Cowboys Star Daryl Johnston Helps Bring Technology to His Alma Mater -- Lewiston-Porter School

YOUNGSTOWN, N.Y. -- Students in the Lewiston-Porter School District will benefit from new computer technology with the help of Verizon Foundation and Youngstown native and former National Football League star Daryl Johnston.

Johnston today presented the Lewiston-Porter School District with a $20,000 Verizon Foundation grant, to be used to purchase wireless laptop computers for student use at the middle school. A Pro-Bowl fullback with the Dallas Cowboys and standout at Syracuse University, Johnston is a Verizon Literacy Champion and travels throughout the country to raise awareness of the issue.

Lewiston-Porter Superintendent Donald Rappold said, "This grant will allow us to fundamentally change the way we conduct the business of education at the elementary school by putting powerful learning tools in the hands of our students. Wireless laptops will help us foster the creation of highly motivated, self-directed learners who can access the rich resources of the Web at the touch of a button. This is a first step in empowering our students to aim higher and learn more."

Johnston said, "Access to computer technology is increasingly critical to the success of every student. I'm proud to know that students at my alma mater will be using these computers for years to come to help them boost their literacy and math skills."

Two years ago, Johnston presented Lewiston-Porter School District with grants totaling $70,000 from the Daryl Johnston Foundation and Verizon Foundation. Those funds also were used to purchase wireless laptop computer technology for the use of students in the school district.

Johnston retired from the Dallas Cowboys after 11 years and is now an analyst with Fox Sports. He began playing football at Lewiston-Porter High and graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average, at the top of his class of 290 students. He earned a degree in economics from Syracuse University.

Johnston is a spokesperson for Verizon Reads, a private, nonprofit organization that distributes funds to community literacy organizations across the country.

"We're delighted to team with Daryl Johnston, a champion on the field and off," said Maureen Rasp-Glose, community relations director for Verizon. "Our foundation is helping others use technology to help create a more skilled workforce and to bridge the digital divide. Grants like this one help us fulfill that mission."

Verizon is committed to being America's literacy champion and is conducting a national campaign to increase community awareness and to generate additional funding and support of literacy programs for adults, children and families. For more information, visit www.VerizonReads.com.

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.