Verizon Teams With First Book and Random House Children's Books to Share the Gift of Reading Through Annual Season's Readings Campaign

Holiday shoppers will have the opportunity to give children the gift of reading through the Verizon Foundation's annual Season's Readings campaign.

From now through Dec. 31, the public is invited to visit Verizon Plus stores in Texas or FiOS kiosks at North Texas Verizon Wireless stores to learn more about the campaign, and to take part by logging on to http://www.firstbook.org/verizon to make a donation to First Book.  The nonprofit organization provides new books to children in need through local schools, libraries and literacy programs nationwide.  A contribution of just $2 provides a new book.

For every donation to First Book through the Web site, Random House Children's Books will make a matching donation of new books to First Book (up to 300,000 books). The first 300 people who make a $20 donation or more through the Web site will receive a complimentary copy of Dr. Seuss's beloved classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" 

"Thousands of children miss out on the joy and magic of reading simply because they don't have access to books," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "This campaign will help bring a smile to the faces of children throughout the country, giving them a gift that will help ensure a brighter future through literacy."

Verizon Plus stores taking part in this year's campaign are located at:

  • 3413 Garth Road, Baytown
  • 2219 S. Loop 288, Suite 108, Denton
  • 1005 Northwest Highway, Suite 1005, Garland
  • 3307 West Airport Freeway, Irving
  • 413 E. Round Grove Road, Suite 101, Lewisville

In addition to visiting the Verizon Plus stores, consumers can participate by visiting FiOS kiosks at Verizon Wireless stores in Denton, Flower Mound, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, Irving, Lewisville, Plano and Watauga, or the Verizon Experience store at the Southlake Town Square in Southlake. 

Holiday shoppers who stop by their local Verizon stores for more information will receive a free Grinch bookmark.

Season's Readings began in 2001 as a Verizon employee campaign to advance the cause of children's literacy. Since then, more than 2 million children's books have been donated to children across the country.

This year, Verizon employees at hundreds of company locations will participate in the annual giving campaign by donating new or gently used children's books. Items collected at Verizon work locations will be donated to nonprofit and educational organizations in the local area. In addition, donations made through the First Book Web site will result in additional books being made available to schools and children's programs across the country registered with First Book.

"Literacy is the first building block of the strong education needed to help all children reach their full potential," said Carl E. Erhart, president of Verizon's Central region. "We invite everyone to become part of our efforts to get books into the hands of children and help them become lifelong learners."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. 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 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

About First Book
First Book provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy - access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 65 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities. First Book now has offices in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about the nonprofit First Book please visit www.firstbook.org

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 89 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 230,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

Random House Children's Books is the world's largest English-language children's trade book publisher.  Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books and novels, the imprints of Random House Children's Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. The company's award-winning website, kids@random (www.randomhouse.com/kids) offers an array of materials and activities free of charge for children, teens, parents, and educators.  Random House Children's Books is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann AG, a leading international media company.