NEW YORK - Season's Readings, Verizon's month-long national book drive and reading campaign fueled by the energy of company employees, kicks into high gear this month.
For the third consecutive year, Verizon employees across the country are participating in the campaign by donating books to local literacy organizations in the employees' communities. They are also making pledges to read to their children or others at local literacy centers, libraries, schools and other organizations this month and throughout the coming year.
Since the program began, the company's employees have donated more than 200,000 books and pledged nearly 75,000 hours of reading time to their own children or to others.
This year's Season's Readings campaign was launched last month in Texas where Verizon, Scholastic Book ClubsTM and First Book® distributed 500,000 books to children in Dallas, Fort Worth and nearby communities. Scholastic Book Clubs donated the books, and Grammy Award-winning jazz musician and Verizon Literacy Champion Al Jarreau read to students at the kick-off event.
To promote the importance of reading to children, the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) has created a holiday book list especially for the Season's Readings program.
The NCFL also has developed tips on reading to children and a list of 15 children's books that are excellent for year-round reading. More information about NCFL's lists and tips is available at www.verizonreads.net.
The reading tips are separated into three age categories -- birth to toddlers, three to five years, and six to eight years (beginning readers).
"Books and stories can be significant components of holiday traditions. Knowing firsthand how important it is to foster the tradition of reading, I encourage families to embrace the joy of literacy during the holiday season by reading with one another or donating books to the Season's Readings Campaign," said Sharon Darling, president and founder of NCFL. "I am proud to participate in Verizon's efforts in collecting books for families in need."
The tips for reading aloud and the holiday and age-specific book lists can serve as a catalyst for parents, grandparents, siblings and others in emphasizing the importance of developing literacy skills in young people. The lists also are helpful when choosing book titles for holiday gifts.
A copy of the NCFL lists and tips will be made available to all Verizon employees to assist them in selecting a book to donate and in fulfilling their read-aloud pledge.
Verizon Season's Readings program is partnering with Scholastic Inc., the largest children's book publisher and distributor in the world. Verizon employees can purchase Scholastic's children's books at their work locations and donate them as part of the reading campaign to literacy organizations and schools.
Season's Readings is part of Verizon's overall commitment to leading the effort to increase U.S. literacy levels. Through its signature Verizon Reads program and the Verizon Literacy Network, the company works to increase community and corporate awareness, raise funds, encourage collaboration among literacy providers and engage employees in supporting literacy programs. For more information on Verizon Reads, visit www.verizonreads.net.
A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 139 million access line equivalents and 36 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with nearly 16 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.