West Valley YMCA receives $20,000 grant from Verizon Foundation

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BY MY DAILY FIND STAFF

The West Valley Family YMCA received a $20,000 grant on November 9 from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, to support KidzLit, a youth reading enrichment program designed to increase motivation to read and build literacy skills. The KidzLit curriculum is offered to the hundreds of children who attend the West Valley YMCA’s Child Care programs at elementary schools throughout the West Valley.

Left to right Andrew Weisman, Board Member Phillippe Merlin, Board Member Jacques Soriano, Board Member Barri Worth, Board Member Julia Cooksey, Verizon, Director of Government and External Affairs Mark Beisswanger, Chair of the Board Ira Rosenblatt, Board Member Councilman Dennis Zine, Board Member Greg Koubek, Executive Director

Left to right: Andrew Weisman, Board Member Phillippe Merlin, Board Member Jacques Soriano, Board Member Barri Worth, Board Member Julia Cooksey, Verizon, Director of Government and External Affairs Mark Beisswanger, Chair of the Board Ira Rosenblatt, Board Member Councilman Dennis Zine, Board Member Greg Koubek, Executive Director

“The West Valley YMCA is appreciative for the wonderful partnership between our center and Verizon, said Greg Koubek, West Valley Family YMCA executive director. “ This grant will allow us to reach out to more youth in order to build their literacy skills, confidence, and self-esteem.”

In the KidzLit program, staff leaders use powerful literature and activities to increase children’s enjoyment of reading, build their vocabulary, deepen their thinking, and foster their ability to work with others. Created for students in kindergarten to fifth grade, this reading enrichment program is used in out-of-school settings to increase young people’s motivation to read and build their literacy skills. At the same time, it develops core values of helpfulness, fairness, personal responsibility, and respect for other. The program is aligned with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards.

“Verizon is pleased to support an effective program that will reach youth that need an extra boost in building their literacy skills and doing it in a nurturing environment,” said Julia Cooksey, Verizon director of government and external affairs.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, 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 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 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 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 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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