Pennsylvania Nonprofits Received More Than $2.3 Million in 2008 From the Verizon Foundation to Support Education, Literacy and Domestic Violence Prevention Initiatives

PHILADELPHIA - Approximately 200 nonprofit groups in Pennsylvania received more than $2.3 million from the Verizon Foundation in 2008.  The grants have enabled the recipient organizations to improve basic literacy skills, create new and diverse approaches to technology-based learning, including Internet safety programs, and help domestic violence survivors rebuild their lives.

In addition, through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee-volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retires in Pennsylvania volunteered more than 45,000 hours and raised more than $900,000 for nonprofit groups throughout the state in 2008.

"Verizon has a long-standing tradition of working to improve the communities where we live and work by supporting organizations that strive to make a difference in the lives of individuals," said Gale Y. Given, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "Through grants and the generous contributions of time and talent from our employees, we are having a positive impact on our communities."

Among the grants awarded by Verizon in 2008 are:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Education - $100,000 to expand training of Thinkfinity online resources - which cross eight academic disciplines, from science to English to mathematics - for K-12 teachers throughout the state to improve student achievement.

  • Philadelphia Revitalization & Education Program (PREP) - $75,000 to expand its Diversity Apprenticeship Program's current curriculum with greater literacy, advanced mathematics and basic technological skills training.

  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) - $50,000 toward its Domestic Violence Training, Education and Prevention Institute, which will build PCADV's capacity to educate people about  and respond to domestic violence throughout the state.

  • National Constitution Center (NCC) - $50,000 toward Living News, an interactive education and outreach program for students in grades 7-12, to inspire dialogue and help overcome the issue of youth violence.

  • Pennsylvania Library Association - $40,000 for the Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child program's 2009 book selection, "If You Were A Penguin," to be distributed to 18,000 preschool children by Pennsylvania libraries and Head Start agencies in the state's 67 counties.

  • Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) - $24,500 to expand its outreach and provide 200 cyber safety programs for 6,000 students, parents and teachers in Bucks County.

  • Womansplace - $23,000 to pilot the Expect Respect program to promote healthy, respectful relationships among students in more than 20 school districts in a seven-county area throughout the Allegheny County region.

  • Turning Point of Lehigh Valley - $20,000 toward its programs that heighten the awareness of the needs of domestic violence victims and promote victim safety and the elimination of domestic violence.

  • Beginning Over Foundation - $18,000 toward its Peaceful Places initiative to provide safe, transitional housing for individuals and families in crisis in Northampton County.

  • Auberle - $15,000 toward its education program to alleviate domestic violence in western Pennsylvania.

  • Boys' & Girls' Club of Chester County - $10,000 toward its Boys' & Girls' Afterschool Tutoring program to enhance reading, math and computer skills of elementary school students in grades 1-6.

  • Centre County Women's Resource Center - $10,000 to address gaps in services to domestic violence victims who have mental health or substance abuse issues, or both.

  • Visiting Nurse Association of Erie - $10,000 to enable the efficient and effective delivery of professional, medical home health care and hospice services to all residents of Erie County, through the use of technology.

  • Millersville University - $10,000 toward its "Schoolyard Bullies: A Source of School Violence" conference focusing on the identification and prevention of bullying in grades K-12.  The conference is offered to the university's faculty, staff and students as well as 22 school districts in the Lancaster-Lebanon area.

  • Holy Spirit Health System - $9,500 to fund technology that will assist the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program for the Cumberland and Perry county communities.

  • YWCA of Pittsburgh - $8,000 toward its Week Without Violence, a communications and engagement program of violence prevention, held throughout Pittsburgh.

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 leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 80 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 224,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.