Twenty Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations Reap $240,000 in Literacy Grants From Verizon

PHILADELPHIA - 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.

Thanks to Verizon telephone customers in Pennsylvania who participated in Verizon's innovative Check Into Literacy program, 20 nonprofit organizations throughout the commonwealth have received $240,000 in grants to support their literacy programs.

The Check Into Literacy program allows Verizon's 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 states the customers live in.

"One of the most effective tools to promote literacy arrives in your mailbox each month: your Verizon phone bill," said William B. Petersen, president of Verizon Pennsylvania.  "Verizon customers who participate in this program show how much they care about our communities through their donations, and we applaud them for it."

Verizon awarded grants to the following organizations:

  • WHYY Inc., Philadelphia - $35,000

  • Delaware County Intermediate Unit, Morton - $25,000

  • Friends of the Hershey Public Library, Hershey - $20,000

  • Bucks County Community College Foundation, Newtown  - $15,000

  • Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, Allentown - $15,000

  • Montgomery County Community Foundation, Blue Bell - $15,000

  • Beginning with Books Inc., Pittsburgh - $10,000

  • Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition/Philadelphia Reads - $10,000

  • Free Library of Philadelphia - $10,000

  • Free Library of Philadelphia/Mayor's Commission on Literacy - $10,000

  • Mid-State Rural Conservation & Development Council/Union-Snyder Community Action Agency, Burnham/Selinsgrove - $10,000

  • Reading is FUNdamental, Pittsburgh - $10,000

  • St. Casimir School, Philadelphia  - $10,000

  • St. Philomena School, Lansdowne - $10,000

  • TraneStop Resource Institute Inc., Philadelphia - $10,000

  • Books for Kids, Erie - $5,000

  • Avon Grove Library, West Grove - $5,000

  • Oxford Public Library - $5,000

  • Parkesburg Free Library - $5,000

  • York County Literacy Council, York - $5,000

Verizon delivers technology that touches life. The Verizon Foundation uses that technology and its financial resources to improve literacy and K-12 education; help families victimized by domestic violence; and improve the delivery of health care. In 2005, the foundation awarded more than $74 million in grants to charitable and nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, which is one of the largest employee volunteer programs in the United States and responsible for 2 million hours of community service since 2000 and $35.6 million in combined contributions to nonprofits in 2005 alone.

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

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based Dow 30 company, 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 57 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.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.