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Press Releases

Published on: June 6, 2011


Funds provide free programming for children and teens across Baltimore City


BALTIMORE – The Verizon Foundation has awarded the Enoch Pratt Free Library a $20,000 grant to fund free activities for its Summer Reading 2011 program. A special ceremony will be held during the Summer Reading kick-off celebration on Saturday, June 11.


Verizon Foundation Summer Reading Kick-off Celebration Ceremony
Saturday, June 11, Noon
Herring Run Branch
3801 Erdman Avenue
Baltimore, Md. 21213

Summer Reading is an incentive and theme-based reading program offered at all Pratt locations across Baltimore. Every year, more than 16,000 children and teens register for the reading program, and more than 35,000 participate in the activities. The goal for registered participants is to read at least one book a week during the eight-week session. Through branch-based activities and performances by guests such as musicians and storytellers, the program is designed to help children build a love for reading, promote family reading and help students continue to learn over the summer.

"Studies have shown that children who read over the summer are better prepared to continue their education when they return to school in the fall," said Carla D. Hayden, chief executive officer of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. "But it’s important to emphasize that reading is fun. Sometimes students get so busy they forget that there’s more to reading than just school texts."

William R. Roberts, Verizon’s president in Maryland and Washington, D.C., said, "In today’s competitive global environment where education and strong literacy skills are essential to the future of young people, learning cannot end with the school year. That is why Verizon invests in programs that engage students inside and outside the classroom to give them the competitive advantage they need. Pratt’s Summer Reading program helps to better prepare students for both the new school year and a lifelong pursuit of reading and learning."

For more information on the Summer Reading program, visit Also look for the Pratt Library on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare and YouTube.

Enoch Pratt Free Library

The Enoch Pratt Free Library, the nation’s first free library system, opened its doors in 1886, the result of the generosity and imagination of businessman and philanthropist Enoch Pratt. Mr. Pratt envisioned a public library where "races, ages and socio-economic classes mingled and people could educate themselves – without cost," and his passionate belief continues to guide the organization. Today’s Pratt Library – Baltimore’s public library and the Maryland State Library Resource Center – consists of the Central Library, an anchor library, 20 branches, two bookmobiles, a jail library, Pratt Centers for Technology Training, and the Regional Information Center. The library’s mission is to provide equal access to information and services that support, empower and enrich all who pursue knowledge, education, cultural enrichment and lifelong learning.

Verizon Foundation

The Verizon Foundation uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit

Remember at the Enoch Pratt Free Library: "Your journey starts here."

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