Organizations in California, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia will receive grants for programs that advance literacy for families and adults, provide families ravaged by domestic violence with the literacy, computer and education resources they need to help break free of violent environments and support educational programs.
"These programs realize the Verizon Foundation's mission of building more literate and vibrant communities across our nation," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "Basic and computer literacy are increasingly important tools for success in the 21st century, and they are tools that these programs are putting in the hands of tomorrow's leaders, people who are already in today's work force and women seeking to escape abusive situations."
The major grants include:
Kentucky - The Partnership for Successful Schools, $250,000 to expand to New Jersey, Maryland or Virginia the One to One: Practicing Reading with Students volunteer-based literacy model proven successful in Kentucky. The program trains and supports volunteers to serve as reading coaches who, like Verizon volunteers in Kentucky, meet on a one-to-one basis once a week with kindergarten to third-grade students who are struggling with reading. The launch of the expansion programs will be supported by adapted print, Web-based and electronic resources and will facilitate relationships with institutions of higher learning and their teacher-training programs to prepare teachers to work with community volunteers.
New Jersey - New Jersey Reads, $100,000 to expand outreach and fund-raising activities that support literacy program providers in the state, where four out of 10 residents can't read, write, speak or understand English well enough to secure or maintain a job.
Pennsylvania - AchievAbility Inc., $100,000 toward its Family Self-Sufficiency Program. The program helps Philadelphia area residents who are single parents, homeless or abused adults living at AchievAbility centers earn a GED or pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree and develop life and employment skills to them avoid future situations of domestic violence.
Virginia - The Virginia Literacy Organization (VLO), $125,000 to begin the Verizon QuAL-D database that will monitor and evaluate student performance; generate specific and trend data for VLO staff and board members, the Virginia Literacy Foundation and the Literacy Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University; and help manage staff and tutoring volunteers.
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, one of the largest employee volunteer programs in the United States 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 Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.