Schools and nonprofit organizations across the country received more than 109,000 free children's books through the Verizon Foundation's recent Season's Readings campaign.
Each year, Verizon employees at hundreds of company locations participate in the campaign by donating new or gently used children's books.
This past year, the public was invited to take part in the campaign by making an online donation to First Book, a nonprofit organization providing 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 contributions made online, adding more than 15,000 books to the campaign total.
"Studies have shown that one of the most successful methods to improving reading achievement is to ensure that children have easy access to age-appropriate reading material," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "I am tremendously proud of the efforts of our employees, our partners 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."
Army Trail Elementary School in Addison, Ill., was among the hundreds of schools and nonprofits to receive books. "Army Trail serves many students from low-income families, and in a time when resources are scarce, a donation such as this will go to great use," said Bob Pape, the school's principal. "We are so grateful for the generosity of the employees at Verizon who donated supplemental reading books to Army Trail's school library."
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 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.