NORFOLK, Va. -- The Norfolk Public Library's Treasure Truck made a special delivery today to the Calvert Square
Early Childhood Center to kick off "Discover the Treasure of Books." Verizon Information Services, publishers
of SuperPages telephone directories and SuperPages.com online yellow pages, funded the program with a $25,000 donation
that will allow books to be distributed to nearly 15,000 children in more than 500 pre-kindergarten, preschool, daycare
and Head Start centers throughout Norfolk.
Councilman Paul Riddick, the honorary librarian for the day, and Norfolk Public Library's outreach librarian Melanie
Reeves delivered the treasures, which included books and information about a parent's role as a child's first teacher.
Each child received Cari Meister's Tiny Goes to the Library and a library card registration form. Riddick
entertained the four year-olds at the Early Childhood Center by reading Marc Pfister's Rainbow Fish and Reeves
introduced the children to the importance of reading and using the library as a resource.
"Placing a book in a child's hands is the first step in creating a lifelong love of reading," said Sally Reed,
director of libraries, Norfolk Public Library. "Thanks to the continued generosity of Verizon, thousands of
children in Norfolk will take this first step."
"With only 31 percent of our nation's fourth graders reading at or above the proficiency level, we need to be
instilling the importance of reading and the library in our children at a very young age," said Michelle Coxen,
community relations manager -- Verizon Information Services. "We are proud to be working with the Norfolk Public
Library to change these statistics by reaching out to the city's youngest readers."
This is the second consecutive year Verizon has made a $25,000 donation to the Norfolk Public Library. Verizon's
partnership with the library is part of a national campaign to support literacy and computer literacy initiatives.
Verizon Information Services provides financial support, donates volunteer hours to literacy programs and has collected
nearly 500,000 books for underprivileged children.
Verizon Information Services is a world's leading print and online directory publisher and a content provider for
communications products and services. The largest directory publisher in the world, Verizon has annual revenues of more
than $4.1 billion and publishes nearly 1,600 Verizon directory titles with a total circulation of approximately 144
million copies worldwide. Verizon Information Services also produces and markets SuperPages.com, the Internet's
preeminent online directory and shopping resource. SuperPages.com receives as many as 9 million visits and completes as
many as 20 million searches per month.
Based in the Dallas area, Verizon Information Services is a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), one of the
world's leading providers of communications services.
Through its signature Verizon Reads program and the Verizon Literacy Network, Verizon is committed to leading the fight
to increase U.S. literacy levels by creating community and corporate awareness, raising funds, encouraging collaboration
among literacy providers and engaging employees in supporting literacy programs. Verizon Information Services sponsors
community outreach programs across the nation designed to increase the literacy rate of children and to help people of
all ages become computer literate.
For more information on Verizon Information Services, visit
href="http://www.verizonyellowpages.com">www.verizonyellowpages.com. For more information on Verizon's literacy
programs, visit www.SuperPages.com and click on the Verizon Reads icon.