West Virginia Schools, Libraries, Nonprofits Receive Books From the Verizon Season's Readings Program

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations in West Virginia are seeing the results of an annual literacy campaign by Verizon employees that netted more than 9,000 new and gently used books.

Employees donated the books as part of Season's Readings, Verizon's annual literacy campaign. Two employee groups, the Verizon Telephone Pioneers and CITE (Consortium of Information and Telecommunications Employees), spearheaded the drive and coordinated the distribution of books to organizations throughout the state.

"Year after year, our outstanding employee response to the Season's Readings campaign reinforces our commitment to be a leader in promoting literacy," said Verizon West Virginia President H. Stan Cavendish. "The books our employees have collected and their pledges to read to children will make a real and lasting impact."

The two Verizon employee groups distributed books in Beckley, Charleston, Clarksburg, the Eastern Panhandle, Huntington, Parkersburg and Wheeling. Included were four Charleston area after-school sites where Verizon has funded family literacy programs in partnership with West Virginia State University.

This is the fourth year that Verizon employees across the country have participated in the Season's Readings program. Barnes & Noble Inc. joined forces with Verizon on the 2004 campaign, Season's Readings: One Million Books for One Million Children.

Since the program began in 2001, Verizon's efforts have resulted in the donation of more than 1,800,000 books nationally, and company employees have pledged more than 229,000 hours of reading time to their own children or to others.

Verizon is committed to being America's literacy champion. The company is conducting a national campaign to increase community awareness and to generate additional funding and support of literacy programs for adults, children and families. Working under the banner of Verizon Reads, a private charity, the award-winning philanthropy program reaches out to the nearly 40 million Americans who have low literacy skills. For more information on Verizon Reads, visit www.VerizonReads.net.

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 210,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband, nationwide long-distance and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 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.