Verizon Boosts Children's Literacy Program

WASHINGTON, September 6, 2000 - Some 400 youngsters at an elementary school in the District will get additional help in improving their reading skills, thanks to a $90,000 grant from Verizon Foundation.

The grant to Everybody Wins!, a nonprofit organization that seeks to foster children's literacy and love of learning through shared reading experiences with caring adults, helps staff the program and provides books and materials to encourage youngsters to read.

"This program is making a difference in the lives of our children and we are proud to be a part of this effort," said Kenneth Clark, vice president of external affairs for Verizon - Washington, D.C. "Literacy helps people develop the life skills and economic opportunities that can change their lives. And when literacy is improved, everybody wins."

Verizon Communications, the national telecommunications company formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is committed to promoting literacy efforts. To that end, the company has launched a presidential award-winning program, Verizon Reads - a comprehensive national initiative involving corporate philanthropy, community outreach, employee participation and collaboration with major literacy organizations. In support of the literacy initiative, the Verizon Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, has made "e-literacy" a funding priority and plans to devote some $10 million annually in grants to promote basic and computer literacy.

Verizon Reads supports a wide variety of literacy programs and works with a network of collaborative literacy partners to reach adults and children across America. In addition to working with Everybody Wins!, Verizon has partnered with the National Institute for Literacy, Literacy Volunteers of America, National Coalition for Literacy, National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions, National Center for Family Literacy and Reading is Fundamental.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 100 million access line equivalents and 26.5 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.