Verizon Foundation Offers Literacy Grants to New Jersey Nonprofit Organizations

Verizon has extended the deadline by a week for New Jersey nonprofit organizations to submit proposals for grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 from the Verizon Foundation to support literacy programs across underserved communities in the Garden State.  The new deadline is June 17.

The foundation will award grants to agencies that develop programs that are focused on building reading skills for children, teens and adults and incorporate technology through computer and Web-based literacy programs for minority and disabled residents in low-income communities across the state.

"As a major employer and corporate citizen across New Jersey, Verizon cares deeply about the communities we serve," said Douglas Schoenberger, vice president of corporate responsibility for Verizon New Jersey.  "By supporting literacy programs in our communities, we can help give people the reading skills they need for educational achievement and job success in the future."

To be eligible, a grant applicant must be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in New Jersey.  Proposals should focus on underserved communities, such as low-income, ethnic, minority, limited-English speaking and disabled groups in rural, suburban and inner-city regions. All grant applicants should access the application through the Verizon New Jersey website, www.verizon.com/nj, and follow the instructions for mailing the application.  All proposals must be postmarked no later than June 17.  Verizon plans to notify recipients of grant decisions on Aug. 12.

Grants are being funded through Verizon's Check Into Literacy program, which allows Verizon 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.

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.