46 Nonprofit Organizations in New Jersey Receive More Than $320,000 in Literacy Grants Through Verizon's Check Into Literacy Program

A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills in New Jersey and giving people the opportunity to succeed.

Thanks to Verizon customers in New Jersey who participated in Verizon's innovative Check Into Literacy Program, 46 nonprofit organizations throughout the state received more than $320,000 in grants to support literacy programs.  The checks were presented at a ceremony Thursday (Sept. 24) in Irvington.

Contributions from New Jersey residents are part of the more than $1.1 million given to literacy organizations throughout the country. In all, more than one hundred literacy organizations were assisted through the Check Into Literacy Program.

The program allows Verizon landline telephone customers to support literacy by checking a box on their monthly phone bills to make a $1 tax-deductible donation to promote literacy.  Verizon then distributes these donations to local literacy organizations that serve the individual states the customers live in.

"This is an awesome opportunity to work hand-in-hand with our customers in order to promote literacy in New Jersey," said Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey.   "These grants are a wonderful gift to thousands of disadvantaged New Jerseyans by providing the tools to learn and become more productive members of our society."

Among the local organizations that received grants through the Check Into Literacy Program are: Bergen Family Center in Englewood, Josephine's Place in Elizabeth, Mercer Street Friends in Trenton, New Jersey Foundation for the Blind in Denville and Literacy Volunteers of Gloucester in Sewall.   A full list of recipients can be found at www.verizon.com/nj.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education 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 Verizon
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 87 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.