Bell Atlantic Volunteers Achieve Goal Of Wiring Baltimore City Schools For Internet Access

Bell Atlantic Volunteers Achieve Goal Of Wiring Baltimore City Public Schools For Internet Access

Company, Local and State Officials Recognize Group In Special Ceremony

August 22, 1997

Media contacts:

Sandra Arnette



school year with a paved route to the information superhighway, thanks

to a group of Bell Atlantic volunteers who have wired the city's

public schools for Internet access.

Members of the group, known as "Web" Slingers, have spent their

evenings and weekends for the last several months pulling wire and

installing equipment in over 80 city schools. Today, these volunteers

will be honored in a special ceremony at Malcolm X Elementary, the

final school to be wired. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Mayor Kurt

L. Schmoke and Bell Atlantic- Maryland President and CEO Sherry F.

Bellamy will be on hand for the celebration and the final wiring.

They will be joined by local and state school and government


"Bell Atlantic is proud to take the lead in preparing our children for

the 21st century," Bellamy said. "Today's workers must have the

skills to use a computer and get online. These employee volunteers

have played a key role in making the possibilities for learning as

endless as the horizon and as creative as a child's imagination."

"Web" Slingers was formed last October with six members working one

Saturday a month. The group is headed by Peggy L. Rice, a senior

engineer at Bell Atlantic, whose passion for this project evolved from

her personal desire to ensure that her grandson's school could access

the Internet.

"Web" Slingers now has 50 members and since October, they have donated

over 2,000 hours of their personal time to the project. As part of

their commitment to improving education for Baltimore City youth, the

group also has partnered with the city's YouthWorks summer jobs

program. Youth from that program learned valuable job skills and

helped the "Web" Slingers achieve their goal of wiring all schools

before the fall semester. Baltimore City public school students soon

will be able to surf the Internet and gather information from across

the globe.

"At Bell Atlantic, we recognize that we all have to give something

back to the community," Rice said. "We get a great feeling by

helping, the schools get some needed assistance, and the children

benefit from the wealth of knowledge that will be at their


Bell Atlantic has been heavily involved in educational initiatives in

Maryland for over a decade, and the company's employees are an

important part of its educational support.

The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and

NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and

entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and

5.5 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are

premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market

leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of

directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the

world's largest investors in high-growth global communications

markets, with operations and investments in 21 countries.