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Verizon contributes $50,000 to literacy program at University Hospital

SYRACUSE, N.Y.- University Hospital's Reach Out and Read program has received a $50,000 grant from the communications company Verizon.

The Verizon grant is part of the corporation's commitment to promoting literacy. The corporation's Verizon Reads program works with local and national literacy organizations across the country to ensure such efforts reach the greatest amount of people.

"Verizon's support of Reach Out and Read is an important step to increasing literacy in Central New York," said John Zacharek, director of corporate development at Upstate Medical University. "Verizon continues to demonstrate its position as a strong, community-oriented corporate citizen focused on improving the health and well-being of residents in our region. For this we are truly grateful."

Reach Out and Read (ROR) has given out approximately 30,000 books to young children during its eight-year relationship with University Hospital's Pediatric and Adolescent Center. During their well visits, children under the age of six receive a new book and their parents or caregivers receive a "prescription" to read to the child. In addition to the books, ROR volunteers read to children in waiting rooms, serving as examples to parents of the effectiveness of reading in entertaining children, and in helping them learn new words and explore new worlds.

Verizon's charitable contributions to University Hospital were recognized this fall, when it received the Upstate Medical University Foundation's Partners In Excellence award.

For more information about the Reach Out and Read program at University Hospital's Pediatric and Adolescent Center, call 315-464-2084. -30-