Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages delights children with Magic at Baltimore Area Libraries

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages delights children
with magic at Baltimore area libraries

Company efforts focus on literacy

August 10, 1998


Gia Oei,

Baltimore, Md. -- Using the excitement of magic, Bell Atlantic Yellow
Pages will stress the importance of children's literacy at five Baltimore-area
libraries this month. Bell Atlantic, the world's largest publisher of Yellow
Pages shopping directories, is sponsoring a series of events called, Books:
The Magic is Real.

The events will be held at the Hollins-Payson, Clifton, Light Street,
Brooklyn and Dundalk Avenue branches.

A recent survey by the National Assessment of Educational Progress found
that some 75 percent of fourth-graders in the United States were not
proficient readers. Furthermore, it was found that less than half of those
students did not have basic reading skills.

Statistics such as these convinced Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages to create a
comprehensive outreach program to support children's literacy programs.
The magic shows are just one component of the efforts.

Utilizing the skills of magician Joe Romano, the company is encouraging
children to get excited about reading. Romano uses magic, music and
audience participation to teach children important literacy lessons.

"It seems that every day there are new reports about how reading to our
children can provide them with a positive start in life," said Mary Jo Howe,
vice president of Marketing and Customer Relations at Bell Atlantic
Yellow Pages. "That's why we are so excited about our company-wide
support of children's literacy programs. It's also why we're delighted to
extend the reach of those efforts here in Baltimore through these 'Books:
The Magic is Real' shows."

Earlier this summer, legendary actor and Bell Atlantic spokesperson James
Earl Jones delighted children at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore,
where he read to students from the classic children's book, Where The
Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak.

The upcoming magic shows are scheduled for Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. at the
Hollins-Payson Branch, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. at the Clifton Branch, Aug. 17 at
4 p.m. at the Light Street Branch, and Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. at the Brooklyn
Branch and 4 p.m. at the Dundalk Avenue Branch. Admission is free and
children of all ages are encouraged to attend. For information or directions
to the shows, please contact Judy Cooper at the Enoch Pratt Free Library
at 410-396-5494.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines and more than
7 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, as well as
market leaders in wireless services. Bell Atlantic companies are also among
the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.