National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions Receives $160,000 Grant from Verizon Foundation

WASHINGTON -- Literacy programs across the country will benefit from a $160,000 grant awarded today to the National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions (NAULC) by Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

"We are grateful to Verizon for supporting our endeavors to strengthen urban literacy coalitions, and for Verizon's commitment to heighten awareness of literacy issues, and its advocacy for literacy services," said Marica Harrington, vice president of NAULC's board of directors.

She said that coalitions that support literacy service providers in more than 50 major metropolitan areas across the country will benefit from this gift. The Verizon Foundation donation will move NAULC's capacity building effort to the next level and allow us to:

  • offer more technical assistance for emerging coalitions and those in crisis;

  • help sustain the Literacy*AmeriCorps program, which provides 171 AmeriCorps members to assist literacy coalitions in six cities;

  • provide AmeriCorps members to assist local coalitions with their capacity building

  • assist with the creation of a downloadable how-to manual for building and operating urban literacy coalitions.

Verizon Foundation presented six checks for $10,000 each to NAULC. The funds will go to coalitions in Boston, Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles, Tampa and Washington, D.C.

"For too many of our citizens who have very limited reading and writing skills, it is difficult to earn a living wage, help children with their homework and participate fully in the community," Patrick Gaston, Verizon vice president - strategic alliances, said. "Verizon Foundation is proud to partner with NAULC and to help fund local urban literacy coalitions so that more quality programs are available to the adults, children, and families who need them most."

Almost 40 million adults in the U.S. function with very low basic literacy skills, while millions more lack basic computer skills. These twin problems touch communities on every level, from individuals and families, to businesses large and small.

Verizon is committed to help rise literacy levels in this country. In 1999, the company launched Verizon Reads - a comprehensive national campaign involving corporate philanthropy, community outreach, employee participation and collaboration with major literacy organizations. For more information visit www.verizonreads.net or call 1-877-483-READ.

The 45 members of the National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions represent over 2,500 literacy service providers and more than 1,200,000 clients. NAULC's mission is to promote and strengthen these local coordinating agencies in their efforts to create literacy communities, thereby enhancing the quality of life and vitality of our cities. This is accomplished by sharing best practice and resources, gathering and disseminating critical information, building awareness of the literacy issue, and advocating for literacy services.

Verizon and NAULC share the same vision of a well-coordinated and well-funded system of high-quality literacy services in all urban centers throughout the U.S., so that everyone in need of literacy services will have ready access to them.

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