2003 Public/Private Partnership Awards

Verizon Communications and The City of Long Beach (CA) Literacy Campaign

The closing of the Long Beach Naval Station, The Long Beach Naval Ship Yard and the layoffs at McDonell Douglas resulted in a loss of more than 50,000 and an economic impact of $2 billion for the City of Long Beach. Coupled with a burgeoning non-English speaking immigrant community, the city's social service and school systems resources were challenged by increasingly high unemployment, low test scores and a limited English proficiency for more than 50% of Long Beach's elementary school students.

The City of Long Beach's Strategic Plan/ 2010 identified the well being of the city's youth as it's number one priority. The plan outlined more collaborative partnerships, increased after school and weekend activities, increased parental involvement as key to its success. The plan also identified the need for outside funding.

Verizon Communications pledged corporate resources to help improve literacy in Long Beach. Their commitment extended beyond children's literacy programs and included literacy and technology programs for parents, seniors and families, operating in schools, libraries, daycare centers and homeless shelters. Verizon provided hardware, software, consulting services and volunteer hours as well as more than $1 million in funding.

Since the Long Beach/Verizon partnership began, elementary school test scores have improved significantly. The partnership continues to benefit the community of Long Beach and reinforces the importance of learning and education. This partnership earned Verizon and the City of Long Beach an Award of Excellence for the Mayors Business Council in 2002.

For more information, contact Mike Murray, Director of External Affairs, 562.434.9594; mike.murray@verizon.com; or Cathleen Wieder, City of Long beach, 562.570.5506; Cathy_Wieder@ci.long-beach.ca.us.