California Schools and Nonprofits Received More Than 4,000 Books Through Verizon's Season's Readings Campaign

More than 30 schools and nonprofit organizations throughout California are receiving free children's books donated during Verizon Foundation's recent Season's Readings campaign.

Each year, Verizon employees at hundreds of company locations nationwide - including 28 locations in California - participate in the Season's Readings campaign by donating new or gently used children's books.

In 2009, the public joined the campaign by making online donations to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need through schools, libraries and other community organizations across the country.  Random House Children's Books also participated by matching the contributions made online, adding more than 15,000 books to the campaign total.

Among the organizations receiving books in California are:

  • School on Wheels, Los Angeles - Provides tutoring and other educational services to homeless children. Tutors also arrange field trips, art fairs and other extra-curricular activities for the children.

  • Ralph Richardson Center, Carmichael - Serves physically and developmentally disabled students, ages 3-22, with special-education needs.

  • Boys & Girls Clubs, Long Beach - The club is committed to serving community youth by utilizing programs and services that preserve and enhance the moral, social, mental and physical development of its membership.

"Studies have shown that one of the most successful methods to improving reading achievement is to ensure that children have access to age-appropriate reading material," said Elva Lima, Verizon vice president of strategic programs.  "I am proud of the efforts of our employees and everyone who participated in the Season's Readings campaign to help get books into the hands of children and help them become lifelong learners."

Season's Readings began in 2001 as a Verizon employees' 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.

"We applaud the employees of Verizon and others who participated for their commitment to literacy," said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president and CEO. "Thanks to their generous support, First Book is bringing close to 33,000 new books to children and families who need them most.  Together, Verizon and First Book are helping children in need open the doors to exploration, adventure and learning through new books."

The Verizon Foundation 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 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $67.5 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 $24.4 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 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.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.

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.