Bell Atlantic WORLD SCHOOL Program Puts West Virginia Students In A Cyber Class Of Their Own

Bell Atlantic WORLD SCHOOL Program Puts West Virginia Students In A Cyber Class Of Their Own

James Earl Jones Presents 'Graduation' Address

June 4, 1997

Media contacts:

Harry Mitchell



CHARLESTON, W.Va. - More than 300 students, educators, government and
business leaders, and James Earl Jones today celebrated a very special
milestone: The Bell Atlantic® WORLD SCHOOL® program now has linked 677
kindergarten through twelfth-grade public schools in West Virginia to
the Internet. This puts West Virginia in a class of its own as a
national leader in integrating technology in the classroom.

Under the more than $9 million WORLD SCHOOL program, Bell Atlantic has
provided direct, high-speed Internet access to the K-12 public schools
in its West Virginia service area, which covers about 85 percent of the
state. This direct connection, which uses Bell Atlantic's digital
frame relay service, gives students and teachers Internet access at
speeds several times faster than dial-up modems without the delay and
possible expense of dialing up a connection.

Bell Atlantic and the West Virginia Department of Education today
hosted more than 300 people in a WORLD SCHOOL graduation ceremony at
the West Virginia Cultural Center. Students and teachers from each
WORLD SCHOOL county joined in the celebration with West Virginia Gov.
Cecil Underwood, Bell Atlantic-West Virginia President and CEO Dennis
, former Gov. Gaston Caperton, West Virginia Superintendent of
Schools Dr. Henry Marockie and others. Jones, noted actor and Bell
Atlantic spokesperson, gave commencement remarks.

"West Virginia is the pacesetter in integrating technology in
education, with more public schools linked to the Internet via direct,
high-speed connections than anywhere else in the nation," said Bone.
"Through the WORLD SCHOOL program, we're flattening West Virginia's
mountains, opening a world of information resources to today's
students and tomorrow's leaders.

"This investment by Bell Atlantic and the state will pay rich
dividends as our children move into the 21st century," said Bone.

"During my first term as governor 40 years ago, West Virginians began
to gain better access to the rest of the world through the interstate
highway system then being built," said Underwood. "The WORLD SCHOOL
program is benefiting our children in a similar way by giving them the
ability to travel to the ends of the earth - without leaving their
classrooms. We're proud to team up with Bell Atlantic to make it

"WORLD SCHOOL is connecting students to information resources around
the globe," said Jones. "West Virginia has taken a giant step toward
a future in which every one of its children will receive a world class

Bell Atlantic and the State of West Virginia announced the WORLD
SCHOOL program in June 1994. The program initially involved 25 pilot
schools. The company and the Department of Education also worked
together to train teachers on how to navigate the Internet and develop
curriculum using its wealth of information. Since then, more than
10,500 educators have been trained to tap the Net's resources, and
many have collaborated on innovative classroom learning projects. A
sampling of some of the more creative projects, and much more
information on the WORLD SCHOOL program, can be found on the program's
World Wide Web site at http://www.k12.wv.us/wschool.

Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company's telephone company subsidiaries are
the premier providers 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.