Panther Valley School District was recently named a recipient of a $5,000 Verizon grant.

During a brief presentation on Thursday afternoon, Daniel J. Reavy, director of external affairs, Verizon Pennsylvania, presented Rosemary Porembo, superintendent; and Bill Lombardo, elementary school principal; with the grant from Verizon's "Check Into Literacy" program.

Reavy congratulated Panther Valley for being named the 2011 recipient.

Porembo thanked Reavy and said that the money will be used to purchase an additional 680 books for use in the 100 Book Challenge, started by the school six years ago with the help of a $96,000 grant from the Ametek Foundation. The 100 Book Challenge challenges students from kindergarten through third grade to read at least 15 minutes at home each night. A total of over 5,000 books are currently in place to operate the program.

She noted that a lot of the books students borrow from the school are worn from use.

"This will help a lot," Lombardo added.

Carbon County Commissioners William O'Gurek and Charles Getz who were also in attendance, and nominated Panther Valley for this year's grant, commented on the matter.

O'Gurek thanked Reavy and the Verizon Foundation for the strong relationship between the company and county.

"We are appreciative of everything you do," he said, adding that over the last two years, Verizon has given over $40,000 to area schools and organizations in Carbon County.

Getz said the money will be used on a great initiative and came at the right time.

Reavy thanked the commissioners and said Verizon was delighted to be able to give back to the community.

"We've tried to be fair and equitable with everyone in the region."

The "Check Into Literacy" initiative is made possible through Verizon's landline telephone customers. Customers have the choice to indicate on their monthly phone bills a $1 donation to promote literacy. Verizon then distributes these donations to local literacy groups, including public libraries and school districts.

"A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way toward improving literacy skills in local communities and giving people the opportunity to succeed," said Reavy. "We are delighted that the Panther Valley School District will benefit by the generosity of our customers."

For more information on the Verizon Foundation or if an organization, such as area libraries, would like to submit an application for one of Verizon's grants, visit http://foundation.verizon.com.