SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - Schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations in Vermont are reaping the results of a month-long drive by Verizon employees who collected 489 new and gently used books. The harvest of books is the result of Season's Readings, Verizon's third annual national book drive and reading campaign conducted at company sites in December.
Employees donated 192 books to H.O. Wheeler School in the Old North End of Burlington -- enough so each student received a new book. The remaining books were donated to Burlington's Fletcher Free Library holiday book drive where they were redistributed to local agencies including COTS, King Street Youth Center, Sara Holbrook Center and the VNA Family Room.
Employees and their families in Vermont also pledged 7,650 minutes (128 hours) to read to their children or others at local literacy centers, libraries, schools and other organizations throughout the coming year. Since the program began, the company's employees nationwide have collected and donated about 767,000 books and pledged more than 110,000 hours of reading time, including more than 578,000 books and about 43,000 hours during the recent campaign.
"Year after year, our employee participation in Season's Readings continues to be outstanding," said Pamela Porell, vice president for Verizon Vermont. "Their efforts reflect our commitment to be this country's literacy champion. The books our employees have collected and their pledges to read to children will make a real and lasting impact."
To promote the importance of reading to children, Verizon partnered with the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) to develop a list of tips for reading and a list of 15 children's books that are excellent for year-round reading. (NOTE: Information about NCFL's lists and tips is available at www.verizonreads.net).
Verizon also partnered with Scholastic Inc., the largest children's book publisher and distributor in the world. Verizon employees were able to purchase Scholastic's books for children at employee work locations and donate the books, as part of the reading campaign, to literacy organizations and schools.
Season's Readings is part of Verizon's overall commitment to leading the effort to increase literacy levels in the United States. Through its signature Verizon Reads program and the Verizon Literacy Network, the company works to increase community and corporate awareness, raise funds, encourage collaboration among literacy providers, and engage employees in supporting literacy programs. For more information on Verizon Reads, visit www.verizonreads.net.
A Fortune 20 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.