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Verizon Foundation and Learning Ally collaborate to help Arkansas K-12 students with learning differences

Categories: Press Releases

LITTLE ROCK — Learning Ally™ (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic), a 63-year old nonprofit organization serving over 300,000 individuals across the U.S. with learning differences and reading disabilities, announced that it has received a grant of $24,581 from the Verizon Foundation to fund a pilot program helping Arkansas students in kindergarten through 12th grade who can benefit from alternate learning techniques and reading strategies.

The “Learning Through Listening” pilot program is being launched in collaboration with the Arkansas State Department of Education, and will operate on school campuses providing alternative learning environments. Students will receive their reading materials in an accessible audio format that enhances their comprehension.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Verizon and Arkansas educators to put in motion a unique program that removes learning barriers for students who may not thrive in traditional classroom settings,” says Andrew Friedman, President and CEO of Learning Ally. “Research proves that when provided with alternative reading programs including audio and multi-sensory formats, students with learning differences can enjoy success in school and stay on track with their peers.”

“The greatest investment you can give a child is a good education and communities must meet the needs of children who learn differently,” said Steve Smith, President – South Central Region of Verizon Wireless. “It is our hope that this donation not only meets the needs of students, but fosters a love for learning.”

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

About Learning Ally™
Founded in 1948 as Recording for the Blind, Learning Ally serves more than 300,000 K-12, college and graduate students, as well as veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Learning Ally’s collection of more than 65,000 digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles – delivered through internet downloads and various assistive technology devices – is the largest of its kind in the world. More than 6,000 volunteers across the U.S. help to record and process the educational materials, which students rely on to achieve academic and professional success. Learning Ally, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information, call (866) 732-3585 or visit www.LearningAlly.org.


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