Verizon Employees Donate 1,500 Books to Local Organizations To Promote Power of Reading

PITTSBURGH - In its continuing efforts to improve literacy in America, Verizon today presented more than 1,500 new and gently used books to several area schools, libraries and literacy organizations. The books were donated by employees during the company's Season's Readings holiday campaign.

Representatives from the Lawrence County Literacy Council, St. Bartholomew School Library, Holy Family Institute, Debra House, Allegheny Kiski Hope Center and Columbus Middle School-Parents School Community Council accepted the donated books during a ceremony at the Verizon Telephone Pioneers office in downtown Pittsburgh.

Verizon and the Telephone Pioneers, a service organization of Verizon employees and retirees, coordinated the company's Season's Readings holiday book drive, which ran from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31. Nearly 4,000 employees from Pittsburgh, Monroeville and New Castle participated in the program. In addition to donating books, Verizon employees also pledged that they would read more than 31,000 minutes to children and adults during the holiday season and throughout the year.

"The employees' generosity and enthusiasm were overwhelming throughout the book drive," said Bonnie Adams, campaign coordinator and past president of the Verizon Telephone Pioneers, Fort Pitt Chapter. "From donating books to pledging reading time, employees showed just how committed they are to doing whatever it takes to improve literacy in our communities."

Season's Readings was a nationwide campaign with Verizon employees donating more than 64,000 books and pledging more than 832,000 minutes (or about 14,000 hours) of reading time.

Through the program, Verizon joined with Scholastic Inc., the largest children's book publisher and distributor in the world, to promote the importance of reading to children. Nationally, Verizon distributed $7,500 worth of in-kind book donations from proceeds of Scholastic book fairs held at Verizon locations during the Season's Readings campaign.

Currently, Verizon is distributing books and proceeds collected from the national campaign to more than 400 organizations, including schools, libraries, literacy providers, boys and girls clubs and other groups near Verizon work locations.

Season's Readings is part of Verizon's commitment to leading the effort to increase U.S. literacy levels. 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 http://www.verizonreads.net.

Verizon Communications

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 132.1 million access line equivalents and 29.4 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 247,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit http://www.verizon.com.