Verizon Foundation Supports PBS Kids Raising Readers at KLRU

Photo, from left to right: Maury Sullivan, KLRU’s VP of Community Engagement; Bill Stotesbery, KLRU’s CEO and President; Carl E. Erhart, Verizon’s President [Southwest Region]; Helen Soto Knaggs, Verizon’s Director of External Affairs

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, Announces $15,000 Grant from Verizon Foundation

Grant to support PBS Raising Readers, a project to help teach literacy using public media in our schools

KLRU announced today that it has received a $15,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation in support of local implementation of the PBS Kids Raising Readers program, a national partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that surrounds children ages 2 to 8 with research-based literacy content.   Funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education, from 2005 to 2010 Raising Readers developed an innovative blend of media across all platforms – TV, online, mobile, and more – and related community engagement activities designed to help young children learn to read.

“KLRU is first and foremost, an educational organization,” said Bill Stotesbery, CEO and GM of KLRU. “Through the generosity of the Verizon Foundation and other foundations we are able to help bridge the gap for young children entering school, using PBS’ award-winning programs such as Super Why and Between the Lions.”

Raising Readers helps empower parents and caregivers to create language–rich environments by teaching strategies that build early literacy skills anytime, anywhere – strategies that incorporate PBS children’s media.  In Central Texas, KLRU’s workshops assist low-income families with children between the from birth to eight-years-old, some of whom have English as a second language at home.  In the 2010-11 school year, the program is partnering with educational nonprofits and Austin-area schools to serve thousands of parents, caregivers and children through workshops and events.

“Providing educational resources to help students develop a strong foundation for success in the classroom is a key priority for the Verizon Foundation,” said Carl E. Erhart, Central Region President for Verizon Communications.  “We are proud to support initiatives such as KLRU’s Raising Readers and the effort to help Austin-area school districts develop young minds.’’

About KLRU:

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, reflects, celebrates and inspires Central Texas through creative excellence, community engagement and lifelong learning. In addition to providing locally produced and quality national television programming, KLRU is also a non-profit organization helping to build a stronger community through educational workshops, community engagement projects and public events. Known as the producing station of the longest-running live music television show AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, KLRU has also worked on several other national productions including the documentaries CITIZEN ARCHITECT and LAST BEST HOPE. Get more information about KLRU at klru.org.

About The Verizon Foundation:

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 Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ),

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 mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

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