Verizon Foundation Offers $150,000 in Literacy Grants to Pennsylvania District Library Center Organizations

Pennsylvania's 29 district library center organizations can compete for $150,000 in grants from the Verizon Foundation to support literacy initiatives that incorporate Verizon Thinkfinity.org resources into the organizations' programs.

The foundation will award grants of up to $15,000 each to district library center organizations that best use Thinkfinity.org resources to enhance existing programs, or launch new ones, for library patrons.  Thinkfinity.org offers free, online educational and literacy resources for teachers, parents and students provided in partnership with leading educational and literacy organizations.

"Thinkfinity.org offers endless opportunities for learning and gives librarians a wealth of resources to generate excitement about reading in the communities they serve," said Gale Y. Given, president of Verizon Pennsylvania.  "In today's competitive global environment, learning goes beyond the classroom, and these resources will help libraries create innovative programs to promote literacy and encourage a lifetime reading habit."

To be eligible, grant applicants must be Pennsylvania nonprofit district library center organizations.  Proposals must be submitted online at the Verizon Foundation's website at www.verizonfoundation.org/apply by Sept. 1.  Awardees will be announced during the Pennsylvania Library Association Conference in Lancaster in October.

Content for Verizon Thinkfinity is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 11 of the nation's leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Council for Economic Education, International Reading Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Verizon Foundation supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational website, Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org), and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded $67.9 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $26.1 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 93 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.