Rhode Island Nonprofit Groups Received $500,000 in 2006 from Verizon Foundation to Support Literacy, Education, Domestic Violence Initiatives

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Verizon's commitment to Rhode Island proved strong in 2006 through grants for a broad range of programs to improve literacy and education, combat domestic violence and improve health care through the use of technology.

In 2006, the Verizon Foundation - the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications - provided over $300,000 in grants to 58 nonprofit groups in Rhode Island, and more than 130 other organizations received a total of $200,000 through the foundation's Verizon Volunteers program, which rewards employees with matching gifts and grants to nonprofits that employees donate to and support.  Last year, Verizon employees volunteered more than 5,000 hours to nonprofit groups across the Ocean State.

"Verizon has a long-standing record of working to improve the communities in which we operate by serving our customers well and supporting organizations that strive to make a difference in those communities," said Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  "By supporting these worthy organizations and the volunteer spirit of our employees, we are making a difference in the lives of people across Rhode Island."

Among the grants awarded by Verizon in 2006 were:

  • Junior Achievement -- $10,000 to expand its Economics for Success interdisciplinary program, which supports the attainment of academic standards in social studies, reading, writing, mathematics and family and consumer science.

  • Meeting Street Center -- $10,000 to fund the Smart Board Technology, which provides typically developing students and students with severe/profound disabilities with a means to interact and learn through this new technology.

  • Rhode Island PBS Foundation -- $20,000 for the Ready To Learn program, specifically serving the parents of socio-economically disadvantaged children under 8 years of age in Even Start, Head Start and other early childhood development programs throughout the state. The goal is to ensure that all children begin school ready to learn.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Providence -- $9,000 to support Mommy, the Computer and Me, targeting Internet safety, basic computer knowledge and parent-child interactions.

  • Providence Journal Newspaper in Education -- $5,000 to help support Reading Week, a statewide literacy program organized annually in cooperation with the Rhode Island State Council of the International Reading Association.

  • Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence -- $10,000 to help expand its Web site capabilities to include interactive media on its Web page, utilizing the nationally recognized Domestic Violence Awareness materials, including Spanish language translations, for all victim-related materials and outreach information.

  • Salve Regina University -- $5,000 for March Into Reading, a two-day event that incorporates the participation of approximately six children's authors and illustrators, as well as 17 K-5 grade schools on Aquidneck Island.

  • YWCA of Northern Rhode Island -- $10,000 to fund Parenting in Progress, a program addressing academic education, parenting, childcare, life skills and job readiness to teenage mothers.

  • Day One -- $5,000 to expand its Rhode Island Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), providing evaluation, evidence gathering and treatment services to child victims of sexual and/or physical abuse and their non-offending family members.

  • A Wish Come True -- $10,000 for Klimb for Kids.  Dr. Tim Warren of Rhode Island will attempt to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world.  In partnership with support from Verizon and the Telephone Pioneers, this experience will be brought live into the classrooms of participating schools via an audio/video broadcast using high-tech equipment.

Verizon works closely with a variety of advisory groups and nonprofit organizations to identify local needs and to develop and nurture programs that address those needs through the philanthropic support of the Verizon Foundation.

The Verizon Foundation is committed to improving literacy and K-12 education; fostering awareness and prevention of domestic violence; and promoting the use of technology in health-care delivery.  In 2006, the foundation awarded more than $69 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched charitable donations from Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $29 million in combined contributions. Under the foundation's Verizon Volunteer initiative, one of the nation's largest employee-volunteer programs, company employees and retirees have also contributed nearly 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.

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

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 more than 59 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.