Little Rock, AR–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–July 5, 2005–At the 76th Annual LULAC National Convention in Little Rock, AR, Verizon Communications and the LULAC National Educational Service Centers (LNESC) announced the continuation of their youth literacy partnership. Verizon is supporting the national Young Readers Program with a $200,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, as well as through the efforts of the Hispanic Support Organization, a Verizon employee group. The grant will provide direct financial support in 15 locations around the country. This marks the seventh year that Verizon has provided funding for the Young Readers program.
“Verizon’s ongoing financial contribution as well as their allocation of human resources to LNESC’s programming is a testament not only to its commitment to the Hispanic community but also to literacy and the advancement of the American Dream,” said LNESC Executive Director Richard Roybal. The funds Verizon is providing will afford educational opportunities through literacy programs for hundreds of Hispanic, minority and low-income children in the first through third grades. Each year Verizon’s contribution impacts over 450 primary students and their families. As a result of their participation in the Young Readers program, students enhance their reading ability by one to two grade levels.
“Literacy is essential if students are to capitalize on the educational opportunities that can lead to brighter, more fulfilling futures. We continue to collaborate with LNESC on this program because it directly addresses that need,” said Patrick Gaston, president of the Verizon Foundation. “We view this as both an opportunity to make an investment in the future of our youth and to support the good work of many of our employees, who are actively involved as role models and reading coaches.”
Young Readers is a multi-faceted program that enhances a students’ ability to read, strengthens communication within the familial group and builds strong interrelationships between families, schools and communities. Unlike remedial programs, the LNESC Young Readers program encourages children in the first to third grade to make reading a life-long habit by incorporating entertaining educational activities that help children enhance their reading skills, develop an understanding of the reading process and experience the joy of learning. Additionally through the participation of LULAC and Verizon volunteers, Young Readers provides students with strong positive role models.
As part of LNESC’s national reading campaign, Verizon funding will support programming in several states including Arizona, Texas, California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
“Verizon’s commitment to the LULAC Young Readers program is one of LULAC and LNESC’s most valued partnerships,” said LULAC National President, Hector M. Flores. “We at LULAC are excited to be able to collaborate with Verizon in continuing to make an impact in the Hispanic community.”
Since 1973, LNESC, has made a significant impact in Hispanic educational attainment. Through an array of exceptional educational and leadership development programs LNESC has contributed to the academic success of 400,000 promising Hispanic and disadvantaged students and has provided over 13 million dollars to nearly 25,000 minority scholars.
The Verizon Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications. In 2004, the foundation awarded more than 26,000 grants totaling over $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving literacy, computer and technology skills, and identifying domestic violence solutions. 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 528,000 hours in their communities and provided $37.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit http://www.verizon.com/foundation.
Orci Public Relations, Julio Trejo, (310) 622-4668 voice
(310) 478-3587 fax
LULAC, Charles Tamez, (202) 835-9646 voice