Verizon Foundation Gives $12,000 For Literacy Tutor Program

Grant Awarded to County Education’s Center for Community Education, an Americorps Project

The Verizon Foundation awarded a $12,000 grant to the AmeriCorps Literacy Tutor Program run by the Center for Community Education, a program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

The AmeriCorps Literacy Tutor Program is in its 10th year of providing K-12 students in-depth reading and literacy tutoring at school sites, to help improve literacy across Santa Barbara County.

The program places more than 40 tutors in 22 schools countywide every year, to serve more than 700 students who are low-performing in reading. Tutors work with the low-performing readers in small groups or one-one-one to help them develop language arts skills.

Verizon will recognize this partnership with a check presentation at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19 at La Cumbre Junior High School, preceding a performance by the United States Air Force Band, which will be joined onstage by La Cumbre Junior High School band students.

“The $12,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to the AmeriCorps Literacy Tutor Program serves as a great example of a company stepping up to take a lead in supporting public education and the long-term success of local students,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone, whose office coordinates the program.

“Verizon’s leadership in this area, and their support for the AmeriCorps Literacy Tutor Program, demonstrates their confidence in the positive effect our tutors have on education throughout our County. Their support will help sustain this very valuable program, while also encouraging other corporations to match their generosity,” he said.

Holly Cole, Director of External Affairs for Verizon, was equally enthusiastic. “Verizon is committed to supporting strong educational programs that improve the ability of students to succeed and achieve their highest potential,” she said. “By investing in the future of our students we are investing in the future of our communities, our industry and our country’s economy. Verizon recognizes the importance of partnering with organizations such as Santa Barbara County Education Office that value education and are active in providing needed literacy programs.”

AmeriCorps Literacy Tutor Program is a program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Center for Community Education. Now in its tenth year, the program annually provides more than 40 reading and literacy tutors to 22 schools countywide, and serves more than 700 students who are low performing in reading. Tutors use research-based reading and literacy intervention to work with identified low-performing readers in small groups or one-on-one, and to help them develop their skills in language arts.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational website,, 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. 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. For more information on the foundation.

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