NEW YORK -- Verizon Communications, America's literacy champion, today announced grants totaling $1.145 million
for literacy and workforce development programs in New York and nationwide.
Nearly 20 nonprofit organizations received checks at an event that also featured New York Giants star running back Tiki
Barber, Verizon's Literacy Champion for New York City.
National organizations receiving grants include Laubach Literacy International, Literacy Volunteers of America and Use
the News Foundation. State and local organizations include Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration; Center for Employment
Opportunities; The Doe Fund; Education 21; Everywoman Opportunity Center; Independent College Fund; Learning Leaders;
Literacy Assistance Center; Literacy Volunteers of America -- Westchester County; Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty;
New York Urban League; NPOWER; Purchase College Foundation; Utica Community Action; Western Suffolk Board of Cooperative
Educational Services and the Young Adult Institute & Workshop.
"Verizon is pleased to support these important organizations," said Paul Crotty, group president of Verizon
New York. "Employee volunteerism, donations of books and cash grants for literacy and workforce development are all
part of Verizon's commitment to invest in the communities we serve and to take a strong stand for a more literate
The event, held at the company's Manhattan headquarters, was created to generate interest in Verizon's "Season's
Readings" program, a national book drive and read-aloud pledge campaign for the company's 256,000 employees. Now
and throughout the holiday season, Verizon employees are being encouraged to donate a children's book to the campaign and
to pledge to read to a child during the holiday season and during 2002. The national program will provide valuable books
to literacy organizations and schools in communities across the country where Verizon employees work and live.
To encourage participation in Seasons Readings, Tiki Barber offered autographed literacy champion posters to the first
100 Verizon employees at the event who donated a book or made a reading pledge. Mr. Barber also read "'Twas the
Night Before Christmas" to a group of 3rd grade children from PS 124 Elementary who attended the event.
The grants are part of Verizon's commitment to lead the effort to increase literacy and support workforce development in
the U.S. Through its signature Verizon Reads program and the Verizon Literacy Network, Verizon works to increase
community and corporate awareness, raise funds, encourage collaboration among literacy providers and engage employees in
supporting literacy programs. For more information on Verizon Reads, visit
Verizon Foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the
digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled workforce. For more information on the
foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
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 128.5 million access line
equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A
Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence
extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit
December 11, 2001
In conjunction with Verizon's Season's Readings campaign, the company released the names of nonprofit organizations
receiving Verizon grants for literacy and workforce development programs in New York and nationwide, along with an
indication of how the grants will be used by each organization:
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation -- For use in expanding their "Restoration Information and
Technology Education Center," which provides residents of Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy community with free computer access
and subsidized workforce development training. Bed-Stuy Restoration will expand its scope to serve youth with technology
training and adults with professional development training.
Center for Employment Opportunities, Inc. -- For the use of "Skills for The New Economy," a project
designed to equip New York City's ex-offenders with skills to obtain and retain jobs in today's workplace. CEO will also
work closely with its business customers to assess their employment needs and provide skilled workers to fill those
The Doe Fund -- Funding will be use to support their project "Ready, Willing & Able," which is aimed
at helping New York City's homeless achieve full time employment and independent living through comprehensive programs
centered on paid work. They also offer a network of educational and social services to prepare their clients for the
Education 21, Inc. -- To fund "Technology Job Path," its program which provides training, counseling and
other support to unemployed persons of the Albany and Capital region in order to prepare them for employment in
technology industry jobs. The program provides instruction and resources in basic computer, desktop applications and
along with PC hardware support.
Everywoman Opportunity Center -- For use in setting up a state-of-the-art computer laboratory to provide basic,
advanced and workplace literacy programs to underserved individuals, employers and employees of Buffalo and Western New
Independent College Fund -- To fund a competition between the education departments of its 29-member college. The
departments will submit proposals aimed at improving literacy in local high schools through the use of technology and
collaboration between private colleges and public schools. By involving colleges public high schools will have exposure
to college campuses and communities and hopefully encourage them to consider higher education.
Laubach Literacy International -- Syracuse, NY -- For use in producing and distributing Literacy Pays booklet to
educate business community how workforce illiteracy affects productivity, profitability and competitiveness.
Learning Leaders -- New York, NY -- Funding for Lincoln's Library, a celebrity Read Aloud program for New York
City public school children, which enhances literacy through stories based on themes taken from the lives of U.S.
Presidents. This year's theme, taken from Abraham Lincoln, will be justice. John Lithgow and Tiki Barber of the New York
Giants headline a cast of celebrities who will perform to an audience of 4th graders from New York City public schools.
The event will be held in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and become a school trip for invited classes.
Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA - National Organization) -- Syracuse, NY -- Funding for development of
LVA/Verizon Knowledge Depot, a virtual learning resource that will expand online knowledge and learning opportunities to
offer core competencies needed to support adult literacy organizations and, ultimately, low-literate adults. Will be
part of the Verizon Literacy Network (www.verizonreads.net).
Literacy Volunteers of America -- Westchester County, NY -- To support the creation and establishment of a
partnership of four community-based organizations serving White Plains, New York to provide a comprehensive selection of
educational and vocational services for income-eligible Head Start parents. The goal is to enable these parents, mostly
Spanish-speaking, to achieve measurable basic competency in English, computer literacy and workforce skills.
Literacy Assistance Center -- New York, NY -- Funding for launch NEW YORK READS, to serve as a comprehensive
clearinghouse on the full range of literacy services offered throughout New York.
Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty -- To fund their "Up & Out" project, a unique collaboration
between the Met Council, the United Jewish Council of the East Side, Inc. and the Sanctuary for Families, that aims to
improve the language skills and the work experience of the multi-cultural population of New York City's lower East Side
through the use of their state-of-the-art career center.
New York Urban League -- For the use of funding their " Workforce Development Plus" program, which is
designed to provide intensive job retention strategies for clients of "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families"
who are entering the workforce in a welfare reform environment.
NPOWER, NY -- Funding will go toward piloting their "Technology Service Corps," an innovative workforce
development program created to meet the specific information technology staffing needs of non-for-profits within New York
City. The goal is to train and develop youth, ages 17 to 25 years, of age, who are interested in technology as well as
careers in non-profit sector.
Purchase College Foundation -- For the use of funding a comprehensive, technology-based continuing education
program to assist Hispanic/Latino workers of Westchester County in acquiring and enhancing technology and literacy
skills. The Foundation will develop a pilot certificate program to provide training for their clients to be active
participants in the new economy job market.
Use the News Foundation -- To support the New York Daily News Newspaper in Education MiniPages program, a
full-page, in-paper literacy program published in the Friday edition. The page contains games, puzzles and other
activities designed to strengthen the literacy skills of both children and adults. A different topic is explored each
week, and includes a teacher's guide to be used not only in the classroom, but by parents at home. Three hundred Metro
New York-area schools will receive 180,000 copies during a 15-week period.
Utica Community Action -- For the use enhancing their capacity to provide job readiness instruction, job
placement, technology training and career awareness training for the youth of the multi-county area of Central New York
State. They will develop a community technology center at a local low-income housing complex, offering training in
computer skills, along with job and life readiness skills.
Western Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services -- To support the local businesses of Suffolk County,
NY, and their employees with special needs -- including people with disabilities, educationally, socially, economically
disadvantaged -- in assessing skills and needs. The goal is to enable workers to increase their basic literacy skills
and technology skills, as well as higher-level skills, like problem solving, analytical reasoning and effective oral and
Young Adult Institute & Workshop -- Funding will go toward three of their Centers for Technology Training in
New York City, established for people with learning and developmental disabilities and/or persistent mental illness.
Trainees will acquire critical computer, technology and hob skills necessary to succeed in a competitive employment