Verizon Employees' Generosity Means Success For Recent 'Season's Readings' Literacy Campaign

NEW YORK -- Verizon employees at more than 300 company locations nationwide donated 68,000 books during the company's recent "Season's Readings" campaign to help organizations working to improve literacy in their communities. During the December campaign, employees also pledged to read aloud 920,000 minutes -- more than 15,000 hours -- to a child or adult throughout this year.

In addition, Scholastic Inc. donated books valued at a total of $7,500, which is the value of the proceeds generated by the book fairs Scholastic held at various company locations in conjunction with Season's Readings.

Verizon retirees also donated books and collected and distributed donated books to more than 400 organizations, including schools, libraries, literacy providers, homeless and abuse shelters, boys and girls clubs and other organizations in the communities Verizon serves. Retirees participated through local chapters of the Telephone Pioneers of America, the world's largest industry-related volunteer organization.

"The generosity of our employees and retirees cannot be overstated," said Mary Beth Bardin, Verizon executive vice president, Public Affairs and Communications. "Their response to Season's Readings is another indication of Verizon's commitment to the communities in which we work and live and of Verizon's commitment to becoming America's literacy champion."

Scholastic Inc., the world's largest children's book publisher and distributor, joined Verizon in its holiday literacy campaign. Scholastic donated more than 700 books to a New York City public elementary school and also donated the proceeds from book fairs it hosted for Verizon employees.

The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) participated in Season's Readings by providing Verizon employees -- and the general public -- with a list of "Verizon Season's Readings Ten Great Holiday Books to Read to Your Kids." The center also announced Tips and Recommendations for Reading to Your Children and a list of 15 children's books that are excellent for year-round reading. The tips for reading aloud and the book lists were intended to serve as a catalyst for parents, grandparents, siblings and others in emphasizing the importance of developing literacy skills in young people.

The NCFL works to ensure that all families at the lowest ends of the literacy and economic continuum have opportunities to expand their education and improve their economic and social well being through quality family literacy programs.

Season's Readings is part of Verizon's efforts to lead in the project of increasing U.S. literacy levels. Through its signature Verizon Reads program and the Verizon Literacy Network, the company 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 www.verizonreads.net.

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 247,000 employees and approximately $67 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 www.verizon.com.