Verizon New Hampshire Customers Can Now 'Check Into Literacy'

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Verizon customers in New Hampshire can now use their phone bills to support literacy and make a difference in the lives of their neighbors in the Granite State.

A Verizon program, called "Check Into Literacy," has been expanded to New Hampshire, allowing customers to make a $1 tax-deductible donation each month to Verizon Reads, a public charity established by Verizon and committed to promoting literacy throughout the United States.

Verizon Reads will distribute customers' donations to New Hampshire nonprofit organizations dedicated to raising awareness of issues surrounding literacy, recruiting volunteers as literacy tutors and supporting literacy programs throughout the State.

Verizon will add $1 to the total amount on the monthly statements of customers who participate in the program. The extra dollar that customers pay each month will go to New Hampshire literacy programs. Customers can contact their local Verizon business office to sign up for the program.

"Verizon is America's literacy champion," said Ivan Seidenberg, president and CEO of Verizon. Seidenberg and Manchester Mayor Bob Baines participated in a literacy event today at the Manchester Boys and Girls Club.

"The ability to read, write and communicate is a fundamental formula for success. Working together, we in New Hampshire can change the lives of our neighbors who have low or no literacy skills," said Baines.

According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 92 million adults in the United States have low literacy skills. They can read, but not well enough to fill out applications or read food labels and simple stories to their children.

"By increasing literacy skills, we're giving people with low literacy the tools to help them find and keep decent jobs, support their children's education and contribute actively in our communities," said Seidenberg.

Verizon is dedicated to being America's literacy champion through its philanthropy and support of efforts to improve literacy in the communities it serves. The company recognizes that economic growth and business success depend on having a skilled and literate workforce. Through Verizon Reads, the company works to link literacy experts across the nation to create a more literate America. GTE, which merged with Bell Atlantic two years ago to become Verizon, launched the Check Into Literacy program in 1999. The program is now available in 25 states. Since it began, the Check into Literacy program has raised nearly $600,000 from customer donations for the cause of literacy. Verizon donated nearly $20 million last year to support literacy causes.

Customers who want to make a one-time contribution or donate more than $1 a month can go online to www.SuperPages.com and access "Log on to Literacy."

Verizon -- America's Literacy Champion

Through its signature program, Verizon Reads, the company works to increase community and corporate awareness of the effects of low literacy on individuals and communities. Verizon raises funds, encourages collaboration among literacy providers and promotes employee volunteerism in support of literacy programs around the country. Visit www.verizonreads.net to learn more about Verizon's commitment to literacy.

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 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, 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.