Verizon Foundation Awards More Than $400,000 in Literacy Grants to 17 New York Nonprofits

NEW YORK - The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, will award $418,230 in literacy grants this week to 17 nonprofit organizations in New York state.

"These grants reaffirm Verizon's commitment to support projects that will improve literacy rates in our communities," said Paul Crotty, Verizon New York and Connecticut group president. "Increasing literacy awareness in today's technology driven world is a necessity, not a luxury."

Verizon invited nonprofit organizations earlier this year to submit proposals to help address literacy and programs supporting English as a second language and basic computer literacy skills.

    The grant recipients are:

  • Cypress Hills Local Development Corp. -- $43,320 to fund a computer literacy and English as a second language program for adults in Brooklyn

  • Chinese-American Planning Council -- $35,000 to establish an online literacy program in lower Manhattan for English as a second language

  • Highbridge Community Life Center Inc. -- $35,000 to support an after-school literacy program serving 660 community students and adults in the Bronx

  • Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center -- $30,000 to fund a literacy laboratory to help people with hearing and speech impairments improve literacy skills by using computer-based technology

  • EAC Inc. -- $25,000 to establish a literacy program serving low-income families in Hempstead, L.I.

  • Educational Products Information Exchange Institute -- $25,000 to support an Internet-based literacy program serving 19 Long Island school districts and several community based organizations

  • Northside Center for Child Development -- $25,000 to support a literacy program for toddlers and parents

  • Queens Child Guidance Center -- $25,000 to expand a reading program for students with low literacy skills

  • Onondaga Public Library -- $23,350 to support a computer-based literacy laboratory for community residents and tutors

  • Thousand Islands Girl Scout Council -- $23,250 to support a literacy outreach program for girls aged five through 12 living in rural areas of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties

  • Korean American Family Service Center -- $22,000 to establish an English as a second language literacy program for newly arrived immigrants

  • Make the Road by Walking Inc. -- $21,500 to support a computer-based technology program addressing literacy for students and adults

  • Grand Street Settlement Inc. -- $20,000 to support a computer-based literacy program to help prepare community members to obtain jobs and encourage them to continue their education at colleges, universities and technical schools

  • Hispanics United of Buffalo -- $20,000 to support an English as a second language program serving 458 adults seeking to enter the work force

  • African Services Committee -- $15,000 to support an English as a second language program for newly arrived immigrants in New York City

  • The Citizens Advice Bureau Inc. -- $15,000 to support an adult literacy program using computer-based technology

  • Union Settlement Association -- $15,000 to expand an English as a second language program in the Bronx

Last year, 116 nonprofit organizations in New York benefited from Verizon Foundation literacy grants totaling more than $2.3 million.

In 2003, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than 21,000 grants totaling about $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and the economically and socially disadvantaged.

The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer 595,000 hours in their communities and provided $34.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications

A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.