Nine Delaware Nonprofits Selected As Finalists For Verizon Foundation Literacy Grants

WILMINGTON, Del. - 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 Delawareans the chance to select the winners of a grant competition for technology-based literacy projects.

In June, Verizon invited nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in Delaware to compete for $50,000 in grants that emphasize innovative use of technology, have widespread impact in the community, and demonstrate partnerships and collaborations.

The nine finalists meeting Verizon Foundation criteria are Boys & Girls Club of Georgetown, Delaware Adolescent Program, Delaware Parent School, Jewish Family Service of Delaware, The Ministry of Caring, M.O.T. Charter School, New Knollwood Civic Association, Thomas A. Edison Charter School and University of Delaware Cooperative Extension.

"Literacy is the basic building block for success in modern society," said Joshua W. Martin III, president of Verizon Delaware. "Integrating technology and literacy programs is a critically important educational process that helps young people prepare for success in higher education or entering the workforce. Verizon is proud to provide the resources for innovative programs that enable academic, technical and social growth. We urge all Delaware residents to learn more about these projects on our Web site and vote online for the programs of their choice."

To review selected proposals and to cast a vote, Delaware residents can log on to www.verizon.com/de., and then click on 2003 Literacy RFP Vote and follow the instructions.

The vote will run through September 22. The proposals receiving the most votes will receive grant awards of up to $25,000, and Verizon will announce the winners by mid-October.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and 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 combined contributions to charitable and 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, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.