Red Sox All-Star Nomar Garciaparra Named Literacy Champion For Boston Area

BOSTON -- - Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and a national literacy team of major businesses are partnering to support literacy in the Boston area.

The All-Star shortstop today became the Boston area's Literacy Champion and will promote literacy throughout Massachusetts. In addition to partnering with Garciaparra, the literacy team of Motorola, Verizon Communications, 7-Eleven, Ask Jeeves, The Boston Globe and Genuity Inc. today presented six Boston-area organizations with grants totaling $300,000 to further promote the importance of literacy for children. The six recipients include:

  • Massachusetts Teachers Association's (MTA) Summer Reading Program. Recipient of a $60,000 grant to fund a statewide summer reading program.
  • ReadBoston. Recipient of a $65,000 grant for its Reading Trial initiative that provides reading materials to inner-city youth before they enter first grade. In addition, newspaper ads and on-line banners will promote ReadBoston's programs. The total grant and in-kind support value to ReadBoston is $150,000.
  • World Education/Eastern LINCS Project. Recipient of a $50,000 contribution to acquire teaching materials for adult literacy and adult basic education students in the state.
  • Tobin Elementary School. Recipient of a $20,000 grant to fund youth literacy programs.
  • The Boston Globe's Newspaper in Education Program. Recipient of a $15,000 grant to establish an English as a second language program for middle school and high school students.
  • Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center's "Reading is the Best Medicine Program." Recipient of a $5,000 grant to purchase books for youth who visit the Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center.

"As he seeks to become the first Major Leaguer to hit .400 since Ted Williams in 1941, Nomar Garciaparra proves each day that he is a true sports champion," said Robert Mudge, Verizon Massachusetts state president. "Through his very visible support of literacy, Nomar extends his role model presence off the playing field, and will help shine a brighter spotlight on the issue of literacy in our communities."

As the Boston area's Literacy Champion, Garciaparra will help raise the awareness of literacy in the community. His image will appear on more than 20,000 Literacy Champion posters distributed at tonight's game between the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park.

"The first way you expand your mind is by reading and it starts when you are young, Garciaparra said. "Reading matters because the more kids read the better they do in school."

Earlier this summer, the Massachusetts Teachers Association joined with the Red Sox to promote a summer reading program at schools and libraries throughout the state. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade were rewarded for reading the most books, with the top 250 winning free tickets to tonight's game.


Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com .


Boston Literacy Co-contributors
Major Organizations Join Forces to Improve Literacy in Boston


Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) is a global leader in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. These include:

  • Software-enhanced wireless telephone, two-way radio, messaging and satellite communications products and systems, as well as networking and Internet-access products, for consumers, network operators, and commercial government and industrial customers.
  • -- Digital and analog systems and set-top terminals for broadband cable television operators.
  • -- Embedded semiconductor solutions for customers in the networking and computing, transportation, wireless communications and imaging and entertainment industries.
  • -- Embedded, electronic systems for automotive, communications, imaging, manufacturing systems, computer, consumer and industrial markets.

Sales in 1999 were $30.9 billion.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

Verizon is committed to being America's Literacy Champion -- helping to improve literacy through a national program aimed at increasing funding, raising community awareness, getting other community members involved and encouraging collaboration.

Nearly 40 million Americans are functionally illiterate, meaning they lack the skills necessary to function in today's society. Those adults who are working and have low level literacy skills are costing employers and taxpayers about $20 billion a year in lost wages, profits and productivity. When adults can't read to their children, their children's reading levels also suffer. Verizon is committed to breaking this cycle.

Believing that literacy is key to unlocking technology's potential, Verizon has made a comprehensive commitment to support literacy programs and providers, combining its philanthropic resources with the efforts of employee volunteers, customers and nonprofit and corporate partners.

Verizon Reads is a 501(c)3, public charity, established to raise funds for national and local literacy providers and programs. It serves as an umbrella organization for Verizon's national literacy efforts.

7-Eleven, Inc.

With nearly 20,000 convenience stores worldwide, operations of 7-Eleven, Inc. (NYSE: SE; Nasdaq: SVEV, SVEVD) include nearly 5,700 corporate and franchised 7-Eleven and other convenience stores in the United States and Canada. In addition, licensees and affiliates operate more than 14,300 7-Eleven stores in the United States, its territories and 16 other countries.

7-Eleven Inc.'s community relations serve the diverse and changing needs of the communities where it operates stores. The company's goals for its community outreach efforts are to help strengthen these communities and to empower the people in 7-Eleven neighborhoods to maximize their potential by providing funding and programs that target education and workforce development, crime prevention, hunger and multi-cultural enrichment.

Ask Jeeves, Inc.

Jeeves, the world's Internet butler, understands the importance of inquisitive minds, the power of knowledge, and the public and personal rewards gained from reading. Unfortunately, millions of American families, adults and children alike, are struggling with illiteracy. As part of its commitment to literacy, Ask Jeeves, Inc. has embarked on an initiative to help fight the battle of illiteracy.

Ask Jeeves, Inc. has joined forces with the Verizon Reads program to initiate the battle. The two companies first combined their efforts on August 14, 2000, at the Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park where they distributed a Nomar Garciaparra poster to the first 20,000 patrons to attend the game. Additionally, Ask Jeeves handed out 20,000 of their ground-breaking "Jeeves, I'm Bored: 25 Internet Adventures for Kids" book to further promote the literacy campaign.

Based in Emeryville, Calif., Ask Jeeves combines human intelligence and automated technology to provide businesses and consumers with personal service online. Using natural-language, decision-support, live-help and popularity technologies, Ask Jeeves helps companies target, acquire, convert and retain customers by humanizing the online experience. Ask Jeeves e-Commerce and e-Support Solutions help companies provide superior online service, and Ask Jeeves Targeting Solutions and Syndication Services are designed to help companies augment advertising revenues by maximizing page views through increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Ask Jeeves also helps consumers find relevant answers to their questions on the company's popular Web properties: Ask Jeeves at ask.com, ajkids.com.

The Boston Globe

Founded in 1872, The Boston Globe is today New England's largest newspaper and ranks among the top 15 daily and top 10 Sunday newspapers in the United States in circulation. It has won a number of national and regional journalism awards for its news and editorial excellence, including 15 Pulitzer Prizes since 1966.

Through The Boston Globe Foundation, established in 1982, the Globe has distributed more than $30 million to hundreds of local nonprofit agencies in fulfilling its mission of assisting the next generation in becoming healthy, educated, employable, and responsible citizens. One of its most visible programs is the annual Globe Santa, a Christmas-time program reaching thousands of needy children in eastern Massachusetts every year.

In addition to its foundation activity, The Boston Globe has for many years supported a number of literacy efforts for both children and adults throughout the metropolitan Boston area. It was one of the founding organizations of ReadBoston, helped to establish the Boston Adult Literacy
Fund, conducts an extensive Newspaper in Education Program reaching all levels of schools in eastern Massachusetts, has created and distributes publications specifically aimed at children and reading, and offers a wide range of assistance to families and children through its Parents Page website at www.bostonglobe.com/parents.

The Boston Globe is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a diversified media company including newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations, and electronic information and publishing. The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

The Company, which had 1999 revenues of $3.1 billion, publishes The New York Times, The Boston Globe and 22 other newspapers; publishes four magazines, including Golf Digest; operates eight network-affiliated television stations and owns two New York City radio stations. It also operates news, photo and graphics services as well as news and feature syndicates. A division of the Company, New York Times Digital, operates Internet properties such as NYTimes.com, Boston.com and NYToday.com. The Company holds interests in one newsprint mill, one super-calendered paper mill and the International Herald Tribune S.A.S.

Genuity Inc.

Genuity Inc. is a leading e-business network provider of high-quality, managed Internet infrastructure services to enterprises and service providers. Genuity offers a comprehensive suite of managed Internet infrastructure services to deploy corporate intranets, and business-to-business and business-to-consumer extranets, including: Internet access through dial-up, dedicated and digital subscriber line (DSL); Web hosting and content delivery; and value-added e-business services such as virtual private networks (VPNs), security services and voice-over-Internet Protocol (IP). With extensive IP experience, the company integrates its suite of services into corporate networks and delivers high-performance, secure and scalable infrastructure services for conducting business on the Internet. Based in Burlington, Mass., Genuity has offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. Additional information about Genuity can be found on the company's Web site http://www.genuity.com.