James Earl Jones Delights Children and Adults At The Pratt Free Library

James Earl Jones Delights Children and Adults At The Pratt Free Library

Jones Joins Bell Atlantic Directory Services In
Celebration of Children's Literacy

June 20, 1998

Media contact:

Stephanie Hobbs,
(703) 289-0607

BALTIMORE -- James Earl Jones, the legendary actor and Bell Atlantic
spokesperson, delighted children today at the Enoch Pratt Free Library
when he visited with members of Team Read '98, an organization designed
to encourage children to read. Jones read to the students from the classic
children's book, Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. Bell
Atlantic's current corporate advertising campaign features Sendak's Wild
Things characters. Bell Atlantic is the world's largest publisher of Yellow
Pages shopping directories.

Team Read '98 is working with the Baltimore Ravens football team to
promote "reading in the off season" among children who register for the
summer program. Children receive a Ravens player card for each book
read, a certificate for scoring a touchdown (reading five books) and a
Ravens Reader T-shirt for winning the Super Bowl (reading nine books).

According to Carla Hayden, director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and
one of the organization's honorary chairpersons, the children were elated
and proud that Team Read '98 was selected for the special visit. "These
children often have heard the distinctive voice of James Earl Jones as
Mufasa in The Lion King. They have seen him on TV and heard him on
the radio in Bell Atlantic commercials. And, today, this venerable actor
was sitting with them, reading one of their favorite stories. What a special
morning it was for all of us."

"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
Directory Services. "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 James Earl
Jones' visit with the children of Team Read '98."

Bell Atlantic Directory Services also invited magician Adam Burger to take
part in the day's activities. Mr. Burger uses music, magic and audience
participation to get children excited about reading. Bell Atlantic Directory
Services and Mr. Burger work together to support children's literacy
efforts through the art of magic and illusion.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines and 6.7 million
wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier
providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, and market leaders
in wireless services. Bell Atlantic companies also are among the world's
largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with
operations and investments in 23 countries. Bell Atlantic is the world's
largest publisher of directory information and is the creator of
BigYellowsm, the nation's leading online shopping directory.