Verizon Donates More Than $1 Million for Literacy and Workforce Development Programs

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

Recipients of Literacy and Workforce Development Grants from Verizon

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

working world.

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

York area.

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

written communications.

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