Verizon Provides $100,000 Grant to Texas A&M College of Education and Human Development

BRYAN, Texas - The College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University has been awarded a $101,180 grant from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications. The grant will be used to fund two projects in the college -- the English as a Second Language Online Literacy Project and Bridges to Literacy.

At a ceremony earlier this week, Verizon Southwest Region President Steve Banta and Verizon Vice President of External Affairs David Russell presented the award to Texas A&M President Robert Gates, Executive Vice President and Provost David Prior, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development Jane Conoley, and several faculty members in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture.

"We appreciate the partnership we have with the College of Education and Human Development," said Banta. "Literacy, both language and computer, is one of Verizon's major funding priorities due to literacy's enormous impact on education and economic development.

"As America's Literacy Champion, Verizon recognizes -- as does Texas A&M -- that strong literacy skills serve as a foundational anchor of a successful life," said Banta. "A well-read person can become anything he or she sets as a goal to achieve, and we are encouraged that our grant will help focus more attention on a critical societal issue that impacts people of all backgrounds."

Jane Conoley accepted the award on behalf of the college.

"We are grateful to receive such a prestigious gift," Conoley said. "The Verizon Foundation shares our mission of increasing the focus on children literacy."

The English as a Second Language Online Literacy Project will provide funding to develop four online modules for non-English speaking middle school students to aid in vocabulary development and reading comprehension. The materials will be made available free of charge to teachers, parents and students throughout Texas.

Bridges to Literacy will enable teachers to adapt an early reading instructional program for use in preschool day-care settings. The goal of the project is to improve early reading achievement of four- and five-year-olds to better prepare them for school. This project supplements previous Verizon Foundation grants for the Brighter Horizons in Literacy program, which targeted reading achievement in local day-care centers.

Verizon is committed to championing literacy in America. The company conducts a national campaign to increase community awareness and to generate additional funding and support for literacy programs that serve adults, children and families. Working under the banner of Verizon Reads, a public charity, the award-winning philanthropy program reaches out to the more than 40 million Americans who have low literacy skills. For more information on Verizon Reads, visit www.VerizonReads.net.

The College of Education and Human Development works to transform lives by discovering the conditions for success in teaching and learning, physical and mental health, and leadership in professions. For more information about the college, visit http://www.cehd.tamu.edu.

Verizon Communications Inc.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.