James Earl Jones Delights Elementary School Students At Carnegie Library

James Earl Jones Delights Elementary School
Students At Carnegie Library

Bell Atlantic Directory Services Donates $35,000 To Pittsburgh
Literacy Organization

June 11, 1998

Media contact:

Stephanie Hobbs,

PITTSBURGH -- James Earl Jones, the legendary actor and Bell Atlantic
spokesperson, delighted students and teachers today at the Carnegie
Library when he visited with about 60 second- and third-graders from the
Homewood Montessori School. 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 Directory Services, which publishes
Yellow and White Pages, also made a $35,000 donation to Beginning with
Books, a Pittsburgh organization dedicated to providing low-income
families with books, information and support to further encourage children
to read. Bell Atlantic is the world's largest publisher of Yellow Pages
shopping directories.

Bell Atlantic's contribution will be used to fund a new Bell Atlantic
Directory Services/Beginning with Books training van. The new van will
transport staff members and childcare workers trained by Beginning with
Books, as well as parents and children who participate in organization
programs. The van will seat up to 15 people and provide cargo space for
books and training materials. The exterior will feature lively, literacy-
themed graphics.

According to Dr. Johnson Martin, principal of Homewood Montessori, the
children were elated and proud that their classes were selected for the
special visit. "These children often have heard the 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."

Bell Atlantic Directory Services chose to hold this event at Carnegie
Library, home of Beginning with Books, to further demonstrate the
company's commitment to supporting children's literacy programs.

"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 for 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 Pittsburgh, through both the
contribution to Beginning with Books and, of course, James Earl Jones'
visit with the children of Homewood Montessori."

Beginning with Books was founded in 1984 by Dr. Joan B. Friedburg and
Dr. Elisabeth Segel, teachers who had seen the difference among students
who had grown up with books and those who had not. Beginning with
Books was developed to provide low-income children with additional
reading opportunities by providing their parents the books, information and
encouragement needed to help them successfully reinforce home storybook
reading. Beginning with Books became affiliated with the Carnegie Library
of Pittsburgh in 1986. Since that time it has collaborated with more than
60 organizations within the Pittsburgh region. Some programs organized
by Beginning with Books include The Gift Book Program, The Read
Aloud Parents Club, Read Together and Project BEACON.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 41million telephone access lines and 6.7 million wireless
customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of
advanced wireline voice and data services and are 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 22 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.