James Earl Jones Delivers Newest Edition of Interactive Youth Volunteer Guides to North Dallas High School Students

DALLAS -- Today, Verizon spokesperson and renowned actor James Earl Jones met North Dallas High School students and delivered the first copies of the 2001 Who Cares? You Can youth volunteer guide. Published by the Volunteer Center of Dallas County, the guide helps match nonprofit organizations with enthusiastic, young volunteers in the Metroplex area.

According to Pat Marshall, vice president - marketing for Verizon Information Services, Verizon and Digital:Convergence collaborated with the Volunteer Center of Dallas County to "cue-up" and print the 2001 edition of the guide with Internet-enhanced "cues" which resemble bar codes. The cues can be swiped with a free hand-held :CueCat scanning device that instantly connects the user to the nonprofit agency's Web site.

Jones demonstrated how to use the guide by scanning the Dallas Public Library cue, and assisted North Dallas High School senior Martin Hernandez to become the first student sign-up online using the Who Cares? You Can guide.

"Verizon Information Services supports teaching young people the rewards of volunteerism, and making it a life long habit," said Marshall. "We are excited to join the Volunteer Center of Dallas County and Digital:Convergence to make the youth volunteer guide interactive. We hope it helps recruit more young volunteers."

"Volunteering is important because it provides our youth with so many great rewards such as learning how to respect others, understanding people who are different from themselves, becoming more patient and finding the opportunity to develop leadership skills," said actor and Verizon spokesperson James Earl Jones.

According to America's Teenage Volunteers, a report published by the Independent Sector volunteer coalition, teens who volunteer increase their knowledge of the world and the problems that face it. Additionally, the study reports that volunteering affords teens an opportunity both to shape their communities and to receive lifelong personal benefits.

"The Volunteer Center of Dallas County is extremely grateful to Verizon Information Services and Digital:Convergence for their commitment to the youth volunteer guide," said Anne Leary, youth program director for the Volunteer Center of Dallas County. "The guide enables many nonprofit agencies in the Dallas area to find good youth volunteers."

Who Cares? You Can Youth Volunteer Guide

The youth volunteer guide is published once a year and is available in Dallas area schools and libraries or on the Volunteer Center of Dallas County's Web site at www.non-profits.org. Over 250 Metroplex nonprofit organizations rely on this guide to find volunteers. Similarly, schools, parents and kids use Who Cares? You Can to learn about the wide variety of volunteer jobs that are available during the summer months - and all year long.

Who Cares? You Can has been in print annually since 1996. The guide lists helpful instructions on finding the right volunteer job, realistic expectations when seeking volunteer work, and special considerations such as transportation, attire and training. There are also sections that list opportunities by task, agencies by cause and by geographic location, minimum age requirements, and special projects for groups of youth volunteers.

The :CueCat Scanner

Developed by Digital:Convergence and approximately the size of a computer mouse, the :CueCat optical reader takes readers directly to a specific Web page designated by the organization. This eliminates the input of lengthy URLs. Additionally, the :CueCat device can read any UPC or ISBN code on a product, making it instantly interactive with the Internet.

Recently, Verizon Information Services' Dallas SuperPages phone book was the first in the nation to launch cue technology in a phone directory. VIS just completed SuperPages delivery to businesses and homes throughout the greater Dallas area. :CueCats devices are free and available at local RadioShacks stores.

About James Earl Jones - Verizon Spokesperson

Mr. Jones first became the voice of Bell Atlantic in 1989 when he was featured in a commercial campaign for Bell Atlantic Directory Services. He proved to be so popular that he was selected as a corporate-wide spokesperson in 1995. And, when GTE and Bell Atlantic merged in June to become Verizon Communications, that partnership was extended.

Mr. Jones' current activities as corporate spokesperson for Verizon include participation in many literacy and educational events such as today's introduction of the Youth Volunteer Internet Guide.

About the Volunteer Center of Dallas

The Volunteer Center of Dallas County promotes volunteerism through the mobilization and referral of volunteers and resources to over 1,100 nonprofit agencies in the greater Dallas area. For 30 years, the Volunteer Center has provided services and programs to agencies that offer a wide variety of health and human services, as well as those who serve arts and cultural causes. The Volunteer Center of Tarrant County, which serves approximately 275 agencies, was opened in 1998 as an affiliate of the Dallas center.

Established in 1984, the Volunteer Center of Collin County promotes, supports and coordinates volunteerism in Collin County and surrounding areas through a network of over 250 nonprofit agencies. It was merged with the Volunteer Centers of Dallas and Tarrant Counties in July of 2000. The three organizations share resources and data, and are technologically linked, allowing access to Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin county volunteer opportunities and information.

About Verizon Information Services and SuperPages.com

Verizon Information Services is a world leading print and online directory publisher and a content provider for communications products and services. The largest directory publisher in the world, Verizon has annual revenues of more than $4.1 billion and employs more than 11,000 people. The company provides sales, publishing and other related services for nearly 2,300 directory titles in 48 states and the District of Columbia and 17 countries outside the U.S. This includes more than 1,600 Verizon directory titles with a total circulation of approximately 110 million copies in the U.S. and 37 million copies internationally.

Verizon Information Services also produces and markets SuperPages.com, the Internet's preeminent online directory and shopping resource. SuperPages.com has received up to 7.7 million visits and 3.4 million unique visitors per month, and is the exclusive Yellow Pages provider on Excite, Lycos, AOL Service, AOL.com, Digital City, HotBot, and BigFoot. Based in the Dallas area, Verizon Information Services is a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), which was formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE.

About Digital:Convergence Corporation
Digital:Convergence Corporation is a privately held Internet technology company headquartered in Dallas with offices in New York and London. Working in conjunction with industry-leading partners such as Forbes
magazine, Young & Rubicam Inc., Belo, and RadioShack Corporation, the company's proprietary technology can link almost all media or products instantly and easily with the Internet, allowing users to obtain relevant information or conduct e-commerce activities. The company's management team includes a roster of industry veterans from Time Warner, AT&T, GE, ING Barings and Disney.

The company's :CueCat optical reader is a 2001 recipient of a laureate medal of honor from the Computerworld Honors Program, recognizing the device as an information technology innovation benefiting society. In March 2001, :CRQ technology was the recipient of the Software and Information
Industry Association's 2001 Codie Award for "Best Reference Tool." Showcasing the industry's finest products and services, SIIA Codie Awards honor excellence in the software and information industry.

Betty Houser - Volunteer Center of Dallas County, 214-818-9844

DeAnna Kriege - Verizon Information Services,

Diane Buben - Tierney Communications, 215-790-4385