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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 02, 2010

Verizon's Readings Campaign Donates Children's Books to New York Schools and Nonprofits

By Hans Lewis, TMCnet Contributor

Schools and nonprofit organizations throughout New York received more than 10,700 free children's books through the Verizon (News - Alert) Foundation's recent Season's Readings campaign.
Each year, Verizon employees at hundreds of company locations, including 47 in New York, participate in the Season's Readings campaign by donating new or gently used children's books.
“Studies have shown that one of the most successful methods to improve reading achievement is to ensure that children have easy access to age-appropriate reading material,” said Andres Irlando, Verizon president for the New York region. “I am tremendously proud of the efforts of our employees, our partners and everyone who participated in the Season's Readings campaign to help get books into the hands of children and help them become lifelong learners.”
This past year, the public was invited to take part in the campaign by making an online donation to First Book, a nonprofit organization providing new books to children in need through schools, libraries and other community organizations across the country. Random House Children's Books also participated by matching contributions made online, adding more than 15,000 books to the campaign total.
“We applaud the employees of Verizon for their commitment to literacy,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president and CEO. “Thanks to their generous support, First Book is bringing close to 33,000 new books to children and families who need them most. Together, Verizon and First Book are helping children in need open the doors to exploration, adventure and learning through new books.”
Among the organizations receiving books in New York are:
·         The New York-Presbyterian Hospital Pediatrics Outreach Program
·         The Police Athletic League, Albany
·         The Holy Angels Region School, Patchogue, L.I.
·         The Chestnut Hill Elementary and Middle Schools, Liverpool
·         Children of Promise, Brooklyn
·         The YWCA, North Tonawanda
·         The Glenn E. Hines Memorial Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh
Season's Readings began in 2001 as a Verizon employees' campaign to advance the cause of children's literacy. Since then, more than 2 million children's books have been donated to children across the country.
The Verizon Foundation, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $67.5 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. 
Additionally, it also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26.1 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5 million hours of community service since 2000.
Verizon Wireless will continue to waive long-distance charges on calls made to Haiti through Feb. 14.
The waiver applies to calls made from the company's residential landlines and wireless phones.
The extension of the waiver, which was to end Sunday, Jan. 31, is Verizon's way of helping connect its customers with their friends and loved ones in the Caribbean nation that experienced a devastating earthquake on Jan. 12.

Hans Lewis is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire