Verizon Customers Donate More Than $76,000 to Promote Literacy in California Through the Check Into Literacy Program

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers who participated in the company's Check Into Literacy program, California nonprofit literacy organizations are now eligible to receive more than $76,000 in grants.

The Check Into Literacy initiative allows Verizon landline phone customers to make a $1-a-month, tax-deductible donation to literacy programs when customers pay their Verizon bill.  In 2008, Verizon customers donated more than $76,000 through the program in California.

To qualify for funding, applicants must be a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization providing basic reading skills using computer and Web-based or adaptive-technology literacy programs to California children and adults with disabilities. The organization must be in Verizon's landline service territory. Grant proposals must be submitted by midnight May 15. Verizon plans to announce grant recipients on its Web site at www.verizon.com/ca on July 15.

Eligible nonprofit organizations in the state can submit proposals via e-mail.  More information about the grants, including application instructions and forms, can be found at www.verizon.com/ca.

"Even during these lean times, Verizon customers continue to show remarkable generosity for this critical cause," said Elva Lima, vice president of Verizon strategic programs. "Literacy is what makes us competitive in this global economy, and Verizon is proud to partner with our customers to assist literacy organizations throughout our service areas." 

Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers who support Check Into Literacy, nonprofit organizations in 23 states and Washington, D.C., will receive more than $1.1 million to bolster literacy efforts. The participating states are: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

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.