Verizon Customers' Long-Distance Calling Can Earn Cash for Neighborhood Schools

NEW YORK - Verizon long-distance customers in the Northeast can now enroll in a program to benefit a public or private K-12 school of their choice. Under the Extra Credit for Schools program, Verizon Long Distance makes a contribution -- equal to five percent of the customer's long-distance spending -- to a school designated by the customer.

Verizon will announce expansion of its Extra Credit for Schools program to 10 more states including New York at a ceremony this morning at the Children's Museum of Manhattan.

The program is popular among Verizon long-distance customers in 46 states from Florida to Washington to Hawaii where the company has contributed more than $2.5 million to 24,000 schools since 1999. The grants are paid by Verizon Long Distance and cost customers nothing.

"We're expanding the reach of this program at a time when growing school populations are stretching school budgets to the breaking point," said Mark Adams, executive director of consumer marketing for Verizon. "Extra Credit for Schools offers consumers the opportunity to help the schools in their neighborhoods without spending an extra dime."

To mark the expansion of the program, Verizon officials and company spokesman James Earl Jones will award special grants to five public schools at today's ceremony. Verizon Long Distance will donate $5,000 to each of the following schools: Pyne Poynt Family Middle School (Camden, N.J.), Forestdale School (Malden, Mass.), George W. Nebinger School (Philadelphia), David A. Harrison Elementary School, (Disputanta, Va.), and P.S. 86 (Bronx, N.Y.). The P.S. 86 Children's Choir will perform at the event. The schools were randomly selected from thousands of public schools in the Northeast.

"This is a no-strings-attached program for consumers," said Adams. "It is an opportunity to have Verizon make a donation to the school of your choice."

In other states where the program is already available, funds generated by the program have been used for reference materials, audiovisual equipment, calculators, art supplies, guest speakers, science work/study labs, computer hardware and software, playground equipment, globes and maps, English-as-a-second-language materials and Internet connections. Schools can spend the funds generated by the Verizon program in ways that will enrich the learning experience of their students.

Link Crew, a unique mentoring program used by schools in 35 states, also has benefited from a $10,000 grant from Verizon's Extra Credit for Schools program. Link Crew helps students smooth the sometimes-traumatic transition into high school for freshman and other newcomers.

More information about Verizon Extra Credit for Schools can be found online at www.verizonld.com/extracredit.

Verizon long-distance customers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware may begin enrolling in the Verizon Extra Credit for Schools program tomorrow by calling 1-877-X-CREDIT (1-877-927-3348). Verizon plans to make the program available in three more states and the District of Columbia in the future.

Verizon, now the third largest consumer long-distance company, provides long-distance service to consumers and businesses in 47 states.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) 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 135.0 million access line equivalents and 31.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and more than 236,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 35 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.