Verizon Presents $145,000 to National Literacy Organization at New York Mets Baseball Game

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NEW YORK -- To highlight the importance of literacy, Verizon awarded $145,000 to ProLiteracy Worldwide, a national literacy organization, at a ceremony at Shea Stadium last night before the start of the New York Mets baseball game. As part of the ceremony, Verizon spokesperson James Earl Jones read the national anthem.

Mary Ellen Payne, vice president of consumer marketing communications for Verizon, presented a check for $145,000 to ProLiteracy to support the organization's interactive search engine program -- Ask Verizon Reads.

Ask Verizon Reads is a collaborative effort of Verizon, ProLiteracy Worldwide and several other nonprofit literacy organizations that was established to create an interactive search engine for literacy on the Internet. Ask Verizon Reads allows visitors to type in questions about literacy in simple English and get immediate answers.

The search engine is just one component of the company's signature philanthropic program, Verizon Reads, which works to increase community and corporate awareness of the insidious effects of low literacy on individuals and communities. Verizon raises funds, encourages collaboration among literacy providers, and promotes employee volunteerism in support of literacy programs around the country. Visit to learn more about Verizon's commitment to literacy.

ProLiteracy Worldwide is a nonprofit agency that sponsors educational programs and services to empower adults and their families by assisting them to acquire the literacy practices and skills they need to function more effectively in their daily lives and participate in the transformation of their societies.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 136.6 million access line equivalents and
33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit


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