Verizon International Foundation Sponsors Technology Conference in Puerto Rico to Improve Students' Literacy Skills

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Verizon International Foundation, the international philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, has awarded a $25,000 grant to help educators develop technology-based programs to improve the literacy skills of disadvantaged students.

The funds will be used to sponsor a four-day conference for six hundred teachers and university officials from Puerto Rico and the United States. The program, Technology Tools for Teaching and Learning, begins Sunday at the El San Juan Hotel.

During the conference, the educators will identify the best methods of integrating the Internet and computer software programs to help improve the literacy skills of students who otherwise would not qualify for college admission. The educators will also study methods for designing Web sites so that schools can share information and ideas about computer-based literacy programs and study methods for developing databases to measure the effectiveness of such programs.

The conference was organized by the Council for Opportunity in Education and ASPIRA, a national nonprofit organization devoted to education and leadership development in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Puerto Rico Telephone, a Verizon affiliate, will be the main telecommunications provider for the conference.

"As a world leader in telecommunications, Verizon is committed to supporting educational programs that use technology," said Fares Salloum, president-international, the Americas for Verizon. "The programs that are implemented as a result of this conference will help students develop the skills they need to continue their education and reach their full potential."

Jon E. Slater, president and CEO of Puerto Rico Telephone and Verizon Wireless, Puerto Rico, said, "This conference reaffirms our belief that technology is the tool of the future for education here in Puerto Rico and worldwide. The scope and diversity of applications and the global reach of telecommunications are changing the way we educate our youth. That is why we and our parent company, Verizon, are supporting educational activities like this conference."

Verizon International Foundation supports a variety of educational and economic initiatives that focus on literacy, workforce and community technology development. The foundation is committed to improving the quality of life of the global communities and customers served by Verizon and its international affiliates. The foundation works closely with Verizon's affiliates and a variety of advisory groups and other organizations to identify local needs and to develop and nurture programs that address those needs.

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 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 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.