Indiana Literacy Association Receives $19,600 Grant From Verizon's 'Check into Literacy' Program

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Thanks to Verizon telephone customers in Indiana who participated in the company's innovative Check Into Literacy program, the Indiana Literacy Association has received a $19,600 Verizon grant to help support adult literacy programs operated by volunteer literacy organizations across the state.

The Literacy Association will offer grants of up to $1,000 for existing literacy initiatives and up to $2,500 for startup programs at new locations.  The association is accepting, applications through Sept. 15, 2008, from volunteer literacy organizations.  Proposals must demonstrate how the organization is addressing the needs of adults with the lowest levels of literacy in the state.

"Literacy opens the door for individuals to broaden their horizons, to enhance their education and to reach their full potential," said Jane Kuemmerle, board chair of the Indiana Literacy Association.  "Verizon's grant will help us to strengthen volunteer literacy organizations across the state that work tirelessly to give adults the tools and training they need to improve their literacy skills, achieve their goals and contribute to their communities."

An organization submitting a proposal for consideration must:

  • Seek support for a volunteer program or have volunteers engaged in adult literacy or adult tutoring in English as a second language.

  • Complete a grant application and provide both interim and final reports.

  • Describe its current program, the problem being addressed and the budget involved.

Interested organizations can check the association's Web site, www.indianaliteracy.org, for application information.  Applicants must be nonprofit volunteer literacy organizations in Indiana.  The association will evaluate all submissions against the established criteria and award the grants in October.

Verizon's Check Into Literacy program allows its 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 throughout the United States.  Verizon then distributes these donations to local literacy organizations that serve the state the customers live in.

"A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills in local communities and giving people the opportunity to succeed," said Gale Y. Given, president of Verizon's Great Lakes region.  "Verizon customers who participate in this program show how much they care about our communities through their donations, and we applaud them for it.  This grant shows how these contributions are being put into action right here in Indiana."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. 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 Verizon's inception in 2000.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

The Indiana Literacy Association began as the initiative of a group of literacy program directors and advocates with a special interest in advancing the cause of literacy in Indiana.  The first meeting of the group was held in March 2005.  Recognizing that a statewide organization could provide networking, additional training and support, and greater visibility for volunteer programs and their tutors, it was decided to articulate a mission and move forward with plans to organize as the Indiana Literacy Association.  It was incorporated in September 2005 as a nonprofit, membership organization to benefit literacy in Indiana.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.