NEW YORK - Hundreds of Verizon volunteers across the country have collected more than $300,000 worth of back-to-school supplies to assist schools and nonprofit organizations. Verizon employees participated in a two-week Tools for School campaign to collect new pens and pencils, rulers, crayons, backpacks, and other items children need to start the school year.
According to a study by Quality Education Data (QED) and the Heller Reports, K-12 teachers spend an average of $475 of their own money each year to buy classroom materials and supplies.
"It's great to see a major corporation that still has a focus on service and that has not forgotten about the importance of enriching the educational experience of our youth," said Maurice Kennard, principal of Francis-Stevens Educational Campus in Washington, D.C. "Verizon's donation came as a surprise to us and was full of high-quality items that our teachers and students will truly appreciate."
In all, employees at 372 Verizon locations took part in the drive. All items will be distributed to more than 300 schools and nonprofit organizations in the local communities where the items were collected.
"Supporting education and literacy has long been a primary social cause for Verizon," said Patrick Gaston, Verizon Foundation president. "Whether it's by providing interactive educational tools on Verizon's Thinkfinity.org Web site, or pencils and supplies needed for the classroom, Verizon will continue to support efforts to give parents, students and teachers the tools needed to help all children succeed."
Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive program and online portal to 55,000 standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and other educational resources provided in partnership with many of the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.
For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.