James Earl Jones, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages and New York Yankees Announce Literacy Partnership

James Earl Jones, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages and New York Yankees Announce Literacy Partnership

June 12, 2000


Stephanie Hobbs/Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages,

Diane Buben/The Tierney Group,

Kathy Lynn/Rubenstein Associates,

New York - Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages today announced its plans to provide a $1,000 grant to the Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) each time a New York Yankee pitcher earns a save this season, with a minimum commitment of $20,000. In conjunction with the announcement, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages spokesperson and renowned actor, James Earl Jones, participated in a book reading and luncheon at Yankee Stadium sponsored by Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages to honor a fourth grade class from Christ the King School in the Bronx. The students recently won a book collection contest sponsored by Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA).

Jones conjured visions of legendary baseball player, Babe Ruth, as he read Home Run - The Story of Babe Ruth to the children with his distinctive voice. The children were treated to a luncheon in the "Great Moments Room" of Yankee Stadium, in recognition of their efforts to collect the most books. More than 450 books were collected by the winning class.

"We are pleased to partner with the Yankees and Literacy Volunteers of America to increase support for literacy," said John Diercksen, president, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages. "Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages shares the Literacy Volunteers of America's dedication to helping more and more people gain access to the materials and services they need to face reading without fear."

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages' grant will make possible LVA's continual support of literacy. LVA coordinates numerous activities through a network of community based literacy programs dedicated to improving reading skills. LVA provides valuable tutoring - assisting more than one half million adults and their families since its inception in 1962. In a recent study conducted by LVA, adult students reported significant improvements in their lives as a result of participating in LVA programs.

"When organizations such as Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages and the Yankees commit to literacy, it sends a positive and invaluable message to children," said Marsha L. Tait, president, Literacy Volunteers of America. "With this support, we can continue to urge more and more people to become exited about literacy."

The books collected from the contest will go to the Highbridge Community Center in New York City to support a summer reading program. Young adults will use the books as tools for tutoring children.

Improving literacy within the community is an ongoing effort for Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages. Local literacy programs are able to thrive through the donation of time and resources to literacy throughout the Bell Atlantic Community. Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages includes literacy messages in its local directories, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising messages on literacy.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and one of 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 23 countries.

Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. (LVA) is a national network of certified, locally-based education programs committed to: increasing literacy for adults and their families; effectively utilizing and supporting volunteers in the delivery of services; and providing research, training, and technical assistance related to the various aspects of literacy. By accomplishing this mission, the LVA assist students to achieve personal, educational and job-related goals.