January 19, 2009 | Volunteer Spotlight
Verizon's Season's Readings Campaign Collects More Than 130,000 Books for Children
housands of children from low-income families will enjoy the thrill of reading books this year, thanks to the generous efforts of Verizon employees and members of the public who contributed to the Verizon Foundation's 2008 Season's Readings campaign.
The annual program surpassed its goal with individual book donations of 100,000 coming from employees in all lines of business at 450 Verizon locations and all Verizon Plus retail stores, and 30,000 coming in through our online channel partnership with First Book. First Book received $77,312 in donations, including a grant from the Verizon Foundation and a match from book publisher Random House.
Seventy Verizon employees in Long Island, N.Y., collected more than 1,000 books that were donated to Literacy Suffolk, a local nonprofit. "The donation by employees at the Verizon Centerreach work center is beyond generous, especially at a time when so many people face financial hardships," said Gini Booth, Literacy Suffolk's executive director. "The children at Long Island Head Start have received more than just a gift, but a gift of reading."
Literacy studies show that childhood access to books is essential - the more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students score in reading proficiency. Yet on average, children from low-income families have far fewer literacy experiences at home than their classmates, are more likely to have trouble with their schoolwork and to repeat grades.
"Every child should know the joy of reading and the discoveries it brings, but books are a luxury for too many families. Since 2001, our employees have donated more than two million books to 3,500 schools, libraries and nonprofits. l am proud of their outstanding efforts in supporting the Verizon Foundation's commitment to improve literacy levels in our country," said Patrick Gaston, Verizon Foundation president.
Seasons Readings is one example of the Verizon Foundation's support of quality educational resources and programs. Thinkfinity.org is our keystone vehicle for delivering thousands of lesson plans, education resources and literacy tools to teachers, students, parents and nonprofits.
First Book is a nonprofit providing an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring and family literacy programs. To find out more about First Book, please check www.firstbook.org.
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