Verizon has awarded the Princeton Area Community Foundation a $25,000 grant for its new All Kids Thrive initiative, a program working to reduce chronic absenteeism in Central New Jersey, putting kids on a path to better adult lives.

“We want to express our deep appreciation to Verizon for their support, as we work to improve the lives of young people living in poverty across our region,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. “Studies show children who miss 10 percent or more of the school year – at least two days a month – often lag behind their peers at every level: from early childhood, when chronic absenteeism erodes the benefits of Pre-K, to high school, where chronically absent students are more likely to drop out.”

Poverty, homelessness and chronic illness are among the risk factors for chronic absenteeism.

The Community Foundation recently announced it would award $3 million in grants to keep kids in school. Ten partnerships between schools and nonprofits in Mercer County, working to reduce chronic absenteeism, will receive All Kids Thrive grants of $300,000 each, payable over five years.

“At the heart of the Verizon Foundation mission is the idea that every child can make a positive impact on the world, and we are dedicated to ensuring that all our children have every conceivable opportunity to be successful,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for Verizon. “Verizon is committed to supporting initiatives like All Kids Thrive to help our next generation realize a brighter future.”

In addition to Verizon, NJM Insurance Group and The George H. and Estelle M. Sands Foundation have pledged financial support to All Kids Thrive.

The Princeton Area Community Foundation promotes philanthropy and builds community across Mercer County and central New Jersey. It helps people and companies make effective charitable gifts and awards grants to nonprofits. Since its founding in 1991, the Community Foundation has grown into an organization with more than $170 million in assets and made grants of more than $126 million, including $20 million in 2017.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, generated $126 billion in 2017 revenues. The company operates America’s most reliable wireless network and the nation’s premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated solutions to businesses worldwide. Its Oath subsidiary reaches people around the world with a dynamic house of media and technology brands.