James Earl Jones Reads Dr. Seuss Classic to Schoolchildren In Celebration of Read Across America

James Earl Jones Reads Dr. Seuss Classic to Schoolchildren In Celebration of Read Across America

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages and the National Education Association Promote Children's Literacy

MARCH 2, 2000


Stephanie Hobbs, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages,

Susan Whitmore, National Education Association,

Diane Buben, The Tierney Group,
day of event -
215-962-7356 (cell)

NEW YORK - Legendary actor and Bell Atlantic spokesperson James Earl Jones joined Bob Chase, president of the National Education Association (NEA), at the Children's Museum in New York City today, as
part of the NEA's third annual Read Across America celebration. In his signature voice, Jones read the Seuss classic Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? to a group of area second graders amidst the colorful backdrop of the Children Museum's "Seussian" exhibit. The Cat-in-the-Hat also made an appearance.

The Manhattan event was one of thousands across the country today marking the birthday of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) and raising awareness of the importance of children's literacy. More than 20 million children and
adults spent the day reading together in schools, libraries, community centers - and even on ships - from Hawaii to New York.

"The powerful voice of James Earl Jones and the involvement of the Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages in the chorus for children's literacy will make a difference in children's lives," said Bob Chase. "Reading
with children is the single most important way to help them succeed in the early grades. Today's event shows just how much fun reading can be, and we hope it will encourage children to pick up a book not just on Dr.
Seuss's birthday, but every day of the year."

"This celebration of Read Across America is the kick-off of an alliance between NEA and Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages, who will
collaborate on a number of children's literacy projects during the upcoming year," said Lou Laste, Community Relations Staff Director, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages. "Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages looks forward to sharing our dedication to literacy and the joy of reading by working with the National Education Association to help kids."

NEA and Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages recognize the importance of reading in a child's ability to learn, achieve success, and contribute to the community. Together, NEA and Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages hope to
inspire the joy of reading through encouraging adults to read to children.

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages is a long time supporter of literacy, continuously forging relationships with numerous literacy partners, including: Love to Read in New York City, Beginning with Books in Pittsburgh, Read Boston, and Baltimore Reads, to name a few. Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages actively supports literacy through two of its own
programs, Books: The Magic is Real, and The Book Angel Program. These programs encourage literacy at schools from Maine to Virginia.

NEA has set up a special area on its website (www.nea.org) to provide parents with proven tips for helping to raise successful readers. Offering advice from experts on early reading intervention strategies and building a solid foundation in reading, it also includes the latest in reading research.

"This event and thousands of others happening across the country today are the building blocks in making reading an integral part of every child's life - which is what Read Across America is all about," said
National Education Association President Bob Chase.

"Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages is proud to help provide children with the tools they need for a bright future," said Mary Jo Howe, Vice President, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages. "Joining the National
Education Association in an event such as today truly demonstrates the excitement reading can generate."

The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 2.5 elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support personnel, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become

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 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.