Verizon Offers $87,000 to Promote Literacy in California

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers who participated in the company's Check Into Literacy program, California nonprofit literacy organizations are now eligible to receive more than $87,000 in grants.

The Check Into Literacy initiative allows Verizon landline phone customers to make a $1-a-month, tax-deductible donation to literacy programs when customers pay their Verizon bill.  In 2007, Verizon collected more than $87,000 through the program in California.

Eligible nonprofit organizations in the state can submit proposals via e-mail. More information about the grants, including application instructions and forms, can be found at www.verizon.com/ca.

To qualify for funding, applicants must be a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization providing basic reading skills and computer and Web-based literacy programs to Californians in underserved communities in Verizon's landline service territory. Grant proposals must be submitted by midnight May 16. Verizon plans to announce grant recipients on its Web site at www.verizon.com/ca on July 15.

"A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills in local communities and giving people the opportunity to succeed," said Tim McCallion, president of Verizon's West region. "Literacy is the foundation of a successful future, and Verizon is proud to partner with our customers to assist literacy organizations throughout California." 

Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers who support Check Into Literacy, nonprofit organizations in 26 states and Washington, D.C., will receive more than $1.15 million to bolster literacy efforts. The participating states are: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

About the Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.  For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 66 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.