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Fourth Annual Metro D.C. 24 Challenge Championship Set
for March 18

WASHINGTON-For the fourth consecutive year, Bell Atlantic is funding
a successful public-private education partnership designed to
enhance the math skills of Metro D.C.-area schoolchildren. This
year, Bell Atlantic has donated $75,000 to provide 24 Challenge
Math Program materials in some 5,000 classrooms throughout
Fairfax and Arlington Counties in Virginia, Prince George's, Frederick
and Montgomery Counties in Maryland and throughout the District
of Columbia.

William Freeman, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-Washington,
D.C., says, "The 24 Challenge Math program provides
a wonderful opportunity for Bell Atlantic to invest in a meaningful
educational initiative. Children are rushing to classrooms because
the 24 game makes learning fun. The game's beauty is its
ability to instill confidence and quickly cultivate math, reasoning
and problem-solving skills in children."

The 24 Challenge Math Program has reached five million
pupils nationwide and abroad since 1988. At the foundation of
the program is the 24 game, an innovative math-teaching
tool proven to motivate pupils from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

The 24 game is brilliantly simple. Just add, subtract,
multiply and/or divide the four numbers on a 24 game card.
Use each number, but each one only once, to reach the answer --

Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of Great City
Schools, national education sponsor of the 24 Challenge
Math Program, says, "We have found with big-city school districts
that the program motivates students to learn math, making it fun
and exciting while, at the same time, strengthening their math
skills." The council represents some 50 urban school systems,
including the District of Columbia Public Schools.

On Monday, March 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the National Air
and Space Museum's Milestones Flight Hall, 200 top students from
a pool of 150,000 participants will vie for top honors in the
24 Challenge Championship Finals. Students have been involved
in classroom, school and district playoffs over the past three
months. The Washington Redskins, honorary chair of the Metro D.C.
event, will join Bell Atlantic in saluting the efforts of all

The General Competition will consist of 176 pupils (grades 4 through
8) playing the original 24 Game, Single Digits edition.
The Platinum Masters Competition features 24 seventh- and eighth-graders
in an extraordinary round of advanced play that incorporates fractions,
decimals, exponents and algebra in reaching the universal answer
-- 24.

Vounteers from Bell Atlantic's Telephone Pioneers of America chapters
serve as proctors at the game tables. The Pioneers are one of
the country's oldest and largest employee service organizations.

Robert Sun, an engineer who invented the 24 game and created
the 24 Challenge Math Program, says he wants to inspire
a new generation of students "to connect with the world of
numbers, to become critical thinkers and problem solvers, and
to succeed in the fields of math and science."

Bell Atlantic also sponsors local 24 programs in parts
of Pennsylvania.

Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the
new communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one
of the largest investors in the high-growth wireless
communication marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial
interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively
developing high-growth national and international business
opportunities in all phases of the industry.


for more information, contact:

    Jill Press, 312 337-8879

    Bell Atlantic

    Michel Daley, 202 392-1021


    Jim Smith, 703 974-5446