Forty-five Pennsylvania Nonprofits Reap More Than $235,000 in Literacy Grants From Verizon

A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills in local communities across Pennsylvania while also giving people the opportunity to succeed.

Thanks to the generosity of Verizon's Pennsylvania landline customers who participated in the company's Check Into Literacy program, 45 nonprofit organizations throughout the state have received more than $235,000 in grants to support their literacy programs.

"This program is a classic example of a little bit going a long way to address a significant challenge for our society," said Gale Y. Given, president of Verizon Pennsylvania.  "Verizon customers who participated in the program have shown how much they care about literacy and our communities, and we applaud them for it."

The program allows Verizon landline phone 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 Pennsylvania residents are part of more than $1.1 million given to literacy organizations throughout the country through the Check Into Literacy program.

Grants have been awarded to the following organizations:

  • American Literacy Corporation, Harrisburg - $10,000

  • Art Sanctuary, Philadelphia - $2,500

  • Beaver County Educational Trust, Beaver - $3,500

  • Beginning with Books, Pittsburgh - $10,000

  • Bethlehem Area Public Library, Bethlehem - $5,000

  • Byerschool Foundation, Philadelphia - $5,000

  • Byron Story Foundation, Philadelphia - $5,000

  • Care Center of West Chester, West Chester - $3,500

  • Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Chester - $5,000

  • Citizens Library, Washington - $3,500

  • Community Learning Center, Philadelphia - $3,500

  • Community Foundation of Fayette County/Uniontown Public Library, Uniontown - $5,000

  • Cumberland County Library System, Cumberland - $5,000

  • Dimmick Memorial Library, Jim Thorpe - $5,000

  • Erie County Public Library, Erie - $5,000

  • Free Library of Philadelphia - $25,000

  • Glenside Friends/Cheltenham Township Library System, Glenside - $5,000

  • Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, Pittsburgh - $10,000

  • Gwen's Girls, Pittsburgh - $6,000

  • The Immigrant Center for the Greater Pittsburgh Region/The Welcome Center, Pittsburgh - $3,500

  • Literacy Council for Schuylkill County, Pottsville - $5,000

  • Louis Harris Center for Youth Development, Philadelphia - $2,500

  • Manheim Township Public Library, Lancaster - $5,000

  • Mid-State Literacy Council Inc., State College - $3,900

  • Morrisville Free Library Association, Morrisville - $5,000

  • Penn Wood Elementary School, West Chester - $5,000

  • The Pittsburgh Project, Pittsburgh - $3,500

  • Pocono Services for Family & Children, Stroudsburg - $2,500

  • Reading Area Community College, Reading - $5,000

  • Reading is FUNdamental, Pittsburgh - $5,000

  • Reese Street Community Center, Philadelphia - $5,000

  • Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Grade School, Philadelphia - $5,000

  • School District of Pittsburgh/Beechwood Elementary School, Pittsburgh - $10,000

  • Schenley Heights Community Development Program, Pittsburgh - $7,000

  • Scranton Council for Literacy Advance, Scranton - $2,500

  • Silver Springs-Martin Luther School, Plymouth Meeting - $3,500

  • Tickets for Kids, Pittsburgh - $5,000

  • Urban League of Lancaster County, Lancaster - $2,000

  • Valley Forge Educational Services c/o The Crossroads School, Paoli - $3,500

  • Volunteer English Program, West Chester - $3,500

  • Washington County Literacy Council, Washington - $3,500  

  • Wayne County Public Library, Honesdale - $5,000

  • West Oak Lane Charter School, Philadelphia - $5,000

  • York County Literacy Council, York - $3,000

  • YWCA of Westmoreland County, Greensburg - $3,500

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, 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.