Operation Read, Salvation Army's Boys and Girls Club Receive Books From Verizon's Season's Readings Program

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The book collections at two local nonprofit organizations just got bigger as Verizon today donated more than 450 new and gently used books to Operation Read and the Salvation Army's Boys and Girls Club.

The donations were made possible through Season's Readings, Verizon's annual holiday literacy campaign. Employees donated books from Nov. 20 through Dec. 31 and pledged to read to their children or to others throughout the year. A team of Verizon employees presented the books to Janet Cowen, director of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club.

"Verizon is a huge supporter in the fight for literacy," said Verizon employee Tamra Layne, who coordinated the local Season's Readings campaign with 11 other employees from Verizon's LiveSource center in Lexington. "Our team came up with some great ideas to support the campaign and get as many books as possible. For instance, to boost participation, employees who donated a book could have a free picture taken of themselves and their children with Santa Claus."

This is the fourth year that Verizon employees across the country have participated in the Season's Readings program. Barnes & Noble Inc. joined forces with Verizon on the 2004 campaign, Season's Readings: One Million Books for One Million Children.

Since the program began in 2001, Verizon's efforts have resulted in the donation of more than 1,800,000 books nationally, and company employees have pledged more than 229,000 hours of reading time to their own children or to others.

Verizon is committed to being America's literacy champion. The company is conducting a national campaign to increase community awareness and to generate additional funding and support of literacy programs for adults, children and families. Working under the banner of Verizon Reads, a private charity, the award-winning philanthropy program reaches out to the nearly 40 million Americans who have low literacy skills. For more information on Verizon Reads, visit www.VerizonReads.net.

Verizon Communications Inc.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. With a diverse work force of approximately 208,000, Verizon has four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband, nationwide long-distance and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.