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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2002

Governor Ryan Accepts $100,000 Donation from Verizon Foundation for Abraham Lincoln Institute for Literacy in America

SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan today accepted a $100,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to be used toward the Abraham Lincoln Institute for Literacy in America. The donation marks the first large corporate donation targeted specifically for the development of the Institute.

“The Institute will be a place where students and scholars alike can come together from all over the world to learn about President Lincoln’s outstanding leadership,” Gov. Ryan said. “We are very grateful to the Verizon Foundation for their generous donation and continued commitment to education and literacy.”

As part of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum being built in Springfield, the Institute for Literacy aims to advance Lincoln’s ideals by providing leadership in literacy. The Institute will work with existing literacy initiatives and promote the development of new strategies to improve youth and adult literacy rates in Illinois and the nation.

James R. Hargrave, Verizon’s Assistant Vice President for Public Policy & External Affairs, presented the governor and Mrs. Ryan with a check for $100,000.

"Literacy is the fundamental building block for communication. For a corporation such as Verizon, which is dedicated to communication, there is no better match," Hargrave said. "We believe the Abraham Lincoln Library Institute for Literacy is an excellent partner in our commitment to improving literacy in Illinois."

The Institute for Literacy will be located in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in downtown Springfield. The library portion of the complex will be complete by late 2002, with the museum portion scheduled to open in 2004.

A live camera shot connected to the Internet currently shows a broad view of the construction area in downtown Springfield. Several views will zoom in on the library, the next-door site of the museum and nearby Union Station, an historic train depot that will be converted into a “gateway” building for the library and museum complex.

Verizon Foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation on the Internet.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 132.1 million access line equivalents and 29.4 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 247,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com



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