Verizon Foundation Provides Funding for Seven South Carolina Nonprofit Programs

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Seven South Carolina nonprofit organizations will receive a total of $50,000 from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, to support programs ranging from basic reading skills to improving computer literacy to strengthening rural health care.  The grants complete the last phase of the foundation's funding in South Carolina for 2007.

The foundation announced in July that it would award grants to support literacy programs conducted by qualifying 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in the state and asked the organizations to submit proposals.

"A literate society continues to be the key component toward meeting many of the challenges facing America today," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president.  "If you can read, you can do anything - there really is no limit.  That is why the Verizon Foundation has chosen to make improved literacy skills a very important plank in its overall platform of support. 

"At the same time, our goal is to encourage organizations to use technology to strengthen the delivery of their programs," said Ciamporcero.  "Two of the grants will do just that for rural health care efforts in Hartsville and Greenville."

Winners and their specific grant-supported programs are:

  • EdVenture - Columbia: Expansion of an after-school program for inner city elementary school children in Richland School District One, utilizing creative learning strategies in conjunction with a local museum.

  • Horry County Schools Adult Education - Conway: Funding for a computer literacy classroom in a new adult education center opening in Myrtle Beach.

  • Operation Outreach USA - Bishopville and Lake City: Delivery of a literacy improvement program for all pre-K to third-grade pupils at Bishopville Primary School and for adults and children participating in the literacy programs at St. Teresa Community Outreach and Empowerment in Lake City.

  • United Way of Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties - Sumter: Implementation of a family literacy project targeting underserved children and families.

  • University of South Carolina Educational Foundation - Columbia: Funding for Information Literacy Training for Parents, Teachers and Literacy Advocates, designed to connect citizens with quality Internet and computer tools that will improve literacy functions.

  • CareSouth Carolina - Hartsville: Specialized computer equipment and programs that will assist with the provision of primary health care services and improve communications between sites that serve poor, underserved individuals living in rural areas encompassing five counties in South Carolina.

  • Communities in Schools - Greenville: A program designed to increase access to primary health care facilities and resources, targeting children in Title I schools and their families in Greenville County. Bi-lingual software will assist case workers with their initial diagnosis and lead to fewer emergency room referrals, while also assisting with enrolling families in Medicaid.

The Verizon Foundation is committed to improving literacy and K-12 education; fostering awareness and prevention of domestic violence; and promoting the use of technology in health-care delivery.  In 2006, the foundation awarded more than $69 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched charitable donations from Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $29 million in combined contributions. Under the foundation's Verizon Volunteer initiative, one of the nation's largest employee-volunteer programs, company employees and retirees have also contributed nearly 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.

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

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, 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 more than 62 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.