NEW YORK, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon has received the first Quills Corporate Literacy Award in recognition of the company's support of literacy programs throughout the United States. The award winners were announced at a star-studded ceremony Tuesday at Pier Sixty. "Verizon's mission has been to be the leader in America's campaign to raise literacy levels by orchestrating a national platform that will increase community awareness and support a wide diversity of literacy programs," said Gerry Byrne, chairman of the Quills Literacy Foundation. "Through its programs and its employees, Verizon has been a uniquely enthusiastic and committed leader that truly celebrates the written word and is making a difference. This is a well-deserved award." In accepting the award, Patrick Gaston, president of the Verizon Foundation, said, "This award is shared by the many Verizon employees who give of their talents, time and skills and by the many partners in the nonprofit community who are helping us turn the page on literacy. We're honored to have received this outstanding award, but recognize that there is still much work to do about an issue we all care so much about -- the advancement of literacy." In 2004 alone, the Verizon Foundation, the corporation's philanthropic arm, invested more than $18 million in literacy programs. Primarily through its Verizon Reads program, the Verizon Foundation uses technology such as broadband networks, Internet applications and computers to deliver innovative reading programs. Designed to inspire reading while promoting literacy, the Quills awards honor winners in more than 15 different categories including Book of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Lifetime Achievement. Hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, with special appearances by Jon Stewart and Robert Klein, the Quills will be carried by 14 NBC Universal owned and operated television stations on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Further information on the Quills is available on the Quills Literacy Foundation Web site at http://www.quillsliteracy.org. With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit http://www.verizon.com. VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, high quality video and images, and other information are available at Verizon's News Center on the World Wide Web at http://www.verizon.com/news. To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.