Verizon Launches Attack on Illiteracy in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. - Verizon Foundation will spend more than $420,000 this year on initiatives to tackle illiteracy in Virginia.

"The ability to read forms the foundation for success in life," said Robert Woltz, president of Verizon Virginia. "Verizon - and our predecessor companies Bell Atlantic and GTE - have championed literacy efforts for years, and we continue to focus on eradicating illiteracy in Virginia and the rest of the nation."

Verizon Foundation expects to spend some $15 million on literacy-related projects nationwide in 2002.

The largest Virginia grants will go to the Richmond Public Schools, Thomas Nelson Community College in Newport News and the Richmond-based Virginia Literacy Foundation, which disbursed funds to literacy agencies statewide. Each will receive $50,000.

    Other recipients of the Virginia grants include:
  • Blue Ridge Public Television (Roanoke), $25,000
  • Children's Hospital of the Kings' Daughters (Norfolk), $10,000
  • Children's Museum of Richmond, $40,000
  • Henrico County Public Schools, $10,000
  • James Madison University, $40,000
  • Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, $15,000
  • Literacy Volunteers of America (Christiansburg), $10,000
  • Tuckahoe Family YMCA (Richmond), $20,000
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, $25,000
  • Virginia Union University, $33,000
  • Wolf Trap Foundation (Vienna), $35,000
  • Youth Matter (Portsmouth), $10,000

Verizon Foundation may award additional grants during the year as it considers other proposals.

Verizon Foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation on the Internet.

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.