IRVING, Texas - The efforts of 32 nonprofit groups and educational institutions to promote literacy across Texas were bolstered today by $500,000 in grants from Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the nation's largest local telecommunications provider.
Verizon announced the grant winners during a reading recovery and early literacy instruction conference in Fort Worth attended by 3,500 Texas state educators and literacy providers. Eleven school districts including those from Boerne, League City, San Angelo and Sulphur Springs were presented with individual grants totaling $225,000 to fund literacy and after-school educational programs for at-risk and special education students, plus their parents. (NOTE: To view a list of grant recipients, please click here.)
"The prosperity of the communities Verizon serves depends on a literate and well-educated work force," said Steve Banta, president of Verizon's Southwest Region. "Texans with low literacy skills face significant challenges in qualifying for and obtaining good-paying jobs. The collective work of our grant-winners will help address this pressing social issue, and our $500,000 in grants will enable organizations throughout the state to teach people to read, write and improve their overall quality of life."
Earlier this year, Verizon sought proposals in Texas that support reading, reading recovery, English as a second language (ESL), childhood literacy and other programs designed to create a better-educated work force. Verizon Foundation will provide more than $3 million in grants, contributions and sponsorships to benefit communities in Texas this year.
Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants nationwide totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
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 and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 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 on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.