Verizon Invests $1.2 Million in Literacy, Education, Health and Safety Initiatives Across Massachusetts

BOSTON - Verizon continues to focus on the quality of life for Massachusetts residents by investing in a wide range of programs that strengthen literacy and education, raise awareness of domestic violence, and improve health care through the use of technology.

In the first half of 2008, the Verizon Foundation - the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications - invested $1.2 million in grants that enable more than 100 nonprofit groups in Massachusetts to deliver critical services to residents.

Recently, Verizon awarded a grant to Lesley University, which, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Education, is creating a Massachusetts network of trainers to teach educators statewide to use free online educational resources available through Thinkfinity.org. The training will be provided on site and online, and align Thinkfinity resources with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive program and online portal to 55,000 standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and other educational resources provided in partnership with many of the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations.

"Verizon believes it's important to be a leader in strengthening our communities," said Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  "We serve customers in every corner of Massachusetts, and are committed to using technology to make a difference in the neighborhoods in which they live and work.  By supporting organizations that are making a difference every day, together we are improving lives while contributing to the future well-being of the Commonwealth." 

Among the grants awarded by Verizon in the first half of 2008 are:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Metrowest - for its Technology for All after-school program for economically disadvantaged youth. The program focuses on strengthening academic and technology skills to better prepare the children and teens to succeed in higher education and a technology-based workforce and global economy.

  • Brockton Public Schools - for its the See the Math! Intervention project that prepares second- through sixth-graders for word problems on the Massachusetts Curriculum Assessment System (MCAS) test.

  • Children's Trust Fund (CTF) - for CTF's One Tough Job Campaign, an innovative use of technology to support parents and strengthen families.  Launched in April 2006, the One Tough Job Campaign (www.onetoughjob.org) offers yet another resource for CTF to serve and educate all parents by providing online tips on raising their children.

  • First Literacy - to enable this adult literacy education provider to expand the LearnerWeb, an innovative Internet and telephone-based portal for distance learning, to more programs at literacy nonprofits and libraries in the Greater Boston area.

  • Junior Achievement of Eastern Massachusetts - for an innovative, interactive program called JA Titan, designed to improve students' decision-making skills while educating them about the different aspects of running a business in a competitive, technology-driven marketplace.

  • New England Area Conference of NAACP - to expand a family literacy program that engages parents to ensure that their children achieve the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

  • Northern Essex Community College - to support the HEALTHY Notes project, which will transform the college's clinical laboratories into dynamic, realistic health care settings in which students not only interact with patient simulators, but also have an opportunity to document their therapeutic and diagnostic activities by using an electronic medical record system.

  • West Springfield Public Schools - to implement a program that uses interactive whiteboard technology to help teachers reach students with a wide range of interactive and multi-media resources. 

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 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 nearly 69 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 employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.