Verizon Seeks Public’s Help in Selecting California Nonprofits to Receive More Than $52,000 in ‘Check Into Literacy’ Grants

Thanks to the generosity of Verizon customers who have participated in the company's Check Into Literacy program, grants totaling more than $52,000 are now available to nonprofit literacy organizations in Verizon California's wireline territory.

The Check Into Literacy program allows Verizon's wireline telephone customers to support literacy programs in their local communities by checking a box on their monthly phone bills to make a $1 tax-deductible donation. This year, customers and members of the public will be able to vote for their favorite grant proposals through a new Vote for Literacy online campaign.

Seven finalists will be featured on Verizon California's website (www.verizon.com/ca) and on the Fans of FiOS Facebook Page(www.facebook.com/VerizonFiOS) under the "California" tab, where an online poll will be available for voters to cast their votes.  The finalist with the most votes will receive a $25,000 grant. Three runners-up will each be awarded grants of $9,000.

"These grants will support nonprofit organizations that do an outstanding job of promoting literacy in their communities and that Verizon customers and members of the public select as the most deserving," said Gene Eng, Verizon vice president of strategic programs. 

Eligible public charities in California can get more information about Check Into Literacy, including application instructions and forms, and contest rules at www.verizon.com/ca. To qualify for funding, applicants must be a 501(c) 3 public charity providing basic reading skills and computer and Web-based literacy programs to California residents in areas where Verizon provides local wireline telephone service.

Grant proposals must be submitted by Sept. 23, 2011, at 5 p.m. PDT.  Award finalists will be announced Oct. 5 on Verizon's Fans of FiOS Facebook Page under the "California" Tab and on Verizon California's website. Voting will take place Oct. 7 through Oct. 21. Voting results and award winners will be announced Oct. 26 on the previously mentioned Verizon online sites.

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.

About Verizon
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 consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.