Rider University’s Center for Reading and Writing got a boost recently when it was awarded a $10,000 grant funded by Verizon’s Check Into Literacy program.

Check Into Literacy is a program in which funds for grants are made possible through private online donations and through Verizon customers who “check the box” on their monthly phone bill and donate $1 to help fund the initiative.

The Center for Reading and Writing is an innovative program designed to provide practical experience to graduate students studying to become reading specialists. It was established in 1980 by Dr. Susan Mandel Glazer, professor and coordinator of Reading/Language Arts, who remains the director of the Center.

Glazer said the grant money will be distributed across a number of needs within the Center. “It’ll be used to continue helping children from the city who need special instruction in literacy but cannot afford it,” she explained. “We’ll also use it to purchase books for our library and to pay for our underpaid clinicians.”

The Center’s grant proposal, which was written and submitted in cooperation with Glazer by Dr. Doreen Blanc, the director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the University, was one of more than 130 received by Verizon for Check Into Literacy funding. Of those, just 39 were selected, according to Samuel A. Delgado, vice president for External Relations at Verizon. Delgado added that Verizon was able to award $325,000 to the 39 successful grant applicants.

Blanc, who like Glazer earned a doctorate in Education, said that the grant is welcome news in tight economic times and that it will help offset the cost of tuition for the Center’s 200 students, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds who require special instruction. The Center also serves students who seek extra reading to supplement the work assigned in their regular school curriculum.

In addition to supplemental literacy instruction, the Center provides parent education, teacher education and consulting for schools.