Verizon Foundation Offers $100,000 in Literacy, Internet Safety Grants to Pennsylvania District Library Center Organizations

Pennsylvania's 29 district library center organizations can compete for $100,000 in grants from the Verizon Foundation to support literacy and Internet safety initiatives that incorporate Verizon Thinkfinity.org resources into the organizations' programs.

The foundation will award grants of up to $10,000 each to district library center organizations that best use Thinkfinity.org resources to enhance existing programs, or launch new ones, for library patrons.  Thinkfinity.org provides free, online educational and literacy resources for teachers, parents and students provided in partnership with leading educational and literacy organizations.

"Thinkfinity.org offers endless opportunities for learning and gives librarians a wealth of resources to generate excitement about reading in the communities they serve," said Gale Y. Given, president of Verizon Pennsylvania.  "In today's competitive global environment, learning goes beyond the classroom, and these resources will help libraries be as open as their imagination to create programs that promote literacy, encourage a lifetime reading habit, and educate and empower families and children to be safe when surfing the Internet."

To be eligible, grant applicants must be Pennsylvania nonprofit district library center organizations.  Proposals must be submitted online at the Verizon Foundation's website at  www.verizonfoundation.org by Sept. 1, 2011.  Awardees will be announced during the Pennsylvania Library Association Conference in State College in October.

In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational organizations, Thinkfinity.org also offers a comprehensive professional-development program that allows teachers to sign up for free online or face-to-face training to learn how to make the most of Thinkfinity tools.  It also includes the Thinkfinity Community, an online spot for teachers, administrators and parents to ask questions, share ideas and discuss education topics of today.

Content for Thinkfinity.org is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 10 of the nation's leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Council for Economic Education, International Reading Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 104 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.