Six California Nonprofits Share $87,000 Raised Through Verizon's Check Into Literacy Program

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers who participated in the company's Check Into Literacy program, six California nonprofit organizations have been selected to share in $87,000 to fund literacy education projects throughout the state.

The Check Into Literacy initiative allows Verizon landline phone customers to make a $1-a-month, tax-deductible donation to literacy programs when customers pay their Verizon bill.  In 2007, Verizon collected more than $87,000 through the program in California.

"A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills and giving people the opportunity to succeed," said Elva Lima, vice president Strategic Programs, Verizon. "Literacy is a key ingredient to a successful future, and Verizon is proud to partner with our customers to assist organizations that are providing needed literacy programs throughout California."

This year, more than 45 nonprofits in California submitted proposals for funding through the Check Into Literacy program. The six organizations receiving grants were selected based on the quality of the programs, their focus on results, and use of technology and evaluation methods.

California's Check Into Literacy grant recipients are:

California State University Long Beach - $15,000 for the Technology Enhanced Learning program, which develops reading materials in an e-book format and uses them to raise the reading proficiency of third, fourth and fifth graders.

Inyo-Mono Association for the Handicapped, Bishop - $20,021 for the Adaptive Learning program, which improves the literacy and independent living skills of developmentally disabled adults.

Learning and Loving Education Center, Morgan Hill - $14,700 for The First Step program, which provides literacy education for women learning English.

Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard - $7,500 for the Learn, Live and Thrive Learning Center, which provides literacy and educational training for homeless men and women.

Trinity Community Foundation, Redlands - $20,000 for Literate for Life, an after-school program that helps students aged 7-18 improve their reading skills.

El Centro de Amistad, San Fernando - $9,800 for the Literacy and Technology Mentorship, a family literacy program that improves the English fluency and writing skills of its participants.

Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers who support Check Into Literacy, nonprofit organizations in 26 states and Washington, D.C., will receive more than $1.15 million to bolster literacy efforts. The participating states are: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

About the Verizon Foundation:
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.

About Verizon Communications
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 67 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 employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.