James Earl Jones Serves as Guest Storyteller
At Boston Public Library for
Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages Storytelling Series
Company To Award Three 'Get An IDEA' Essay/Art
Contest Winners With $1,000 U.S. Savings Bonds
June 15, 1999
BOSTON -- James Earl Jones, the legendary actor and Bell Atlantic
spokesperson, delighted children today at the Boston Public Library's main
branch as he read Curious George by H.A. Ray to children participating in
the Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages Storytelling Series. As part of the series,
Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages also held a "Get An IDEA" essay
and art contest for children in grades K-6. At the event, Mr. Jones and
Mayor Thomas M. Menino helped the company present the three winners
with $1,000 U.S. Savings Bonds.
The Boston Public Library invited 40 children from across the city to
participate in the event. One representative from each of the library's 26
branches attended the event, as well as children from several non-profit
agencies including, Dana Farber Marathon Challenge, Boston Medical
Center's Kids Fund, Crossroads for Kids and Entre Samilia.
In April, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages donated $15,000 to the Boston Public
Library to fund the storytelling series that Mr. Jones participated in today.
That donation is funding over 25 storytelling performances, which are taking
place at branches of the Boston Public Library system through August.
The essay and art contest, which was held during May, was announced at
the kick-off of the Storytelling Series. Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages
requested that participants identify the best idea of the twentieth century
and then suggest how that idea could be improved for the twenty-first
century. One winner from each of three age categories was chosen to
receive a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond: Ngoc Tram Vu of South Boston,
David Sanchez of Charlestown and Katie Balaconis of South Boston.
"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 M. J.
Howe, vice president of marketing, customer care and strategic planning
for Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages. "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 Boston, through
our sponsorship of this storytelling series."
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and nine 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 yellow pages directories and its affiliate,
Bell Atlantic Electronic Commerce Services, Inc., is the creator of Big
Yellowsm, a leading online shopping directory.
James Earl Jones has worked with Bell Atlantic for 10 years and served as
the company's spokesperson for four. He is a legendary star of both stage
and screen and has played leading roles in many plays and movies,
including The Great White Hope, Cry the Beloved Country and Field of
The Boston Public Library (BPL), established in 1848 was the first
publicly supported municipal library in America, and the first public
library to allow people to borrow books and materials, a truly
revolutionary concept at the time. In 1870, the BPL was the first library to
institute a system of branch libraries linked to a central library with the
opening of the East Boston branch, and the first library to establish a space
specifically designed for children with the opening of the children's room
in Copley Square in 1895. Today, the BPL holds 7 million volumes;
serves more than 2 million people in its central library in Copley Square
and an additional 350,000 people in its 26 branch libraries around the city;
and is one of only two public libraries in the country that is a member of
the Association of Research Libraries. The Boston Public Library and all
of its public events are free and open to everyone.