Signature Book Angel Program delights children at Holy Ghost Elementary School

Signature Book Angel Program delights children at Holy Ghost
Elementary School

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages donates $50,000 to further
children's literacy

March 4, 1999


Gia Oei,
(978) 762-1333

PROVIDENCE -- Like pennies from heaven, Bell Atlantic Dollars were
distributed to children from the Holy Ghost Elementary School last week.
The children redeemed the Bell Atlantic Dollars to purchase books at their
school's Scholastic Book Fair. The donation is part of Bell Atlantic Yellow
Pages' signature program called, "The Book Angel Program," which will
donate $50,000 to elementary schools throughout the company's region
this year.

Bell Atlantic's program ensures that each child in the school may select
and take home a book of their own.

"This is a single step along a student's journey to becoming literate, but an
important one," said Michelle Coxen, manager - Community Relations at
Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages. "By giving each child the funds to buy a
book, we hope to instill in them a love of reading and help lead them to a
brighter future."

A recent study showed that 41 percent of our fourth graders in the U.S.
cannot read at the basic level, and only 28 percent performed at or above
the proficient level.

Statistics such as these convinced Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages to create a
comprehensive outreach program to support children's literacy. The Book
Angel is just one component of the efforts. Other efforts to further the
children's literacy cause in the Providence area include working with
Providence Reads, the city's literacy organization aimed at improving the
literacy skills of all 13,000 Providence elementary school students.

"Having the Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages Book Angel program at our
school has been great," said Carol Wood, principal -- Holy Ghost
Elementary School. "The kids are really enjoying using their Bell Atlantic
Dollars. It's an excellent opportunity to put books that they ordinarily
would not have in their hands."

Bell Atlantic has formed an alliance with the nationally recognized book
company to roll-out the Book Angel program.

"Scholastic Book Fairs, Inc. is a premier company for children's book
fairs, so we're very excited about this new partnership with them," said
Coxen. "It seems that every day there are new reports about how reading
to our children can provide them with a positive start in life. We're glad to
extend our efforts to children in Cranston."

Kerry Collins, vice president of Sales and Marketing at Scholastic Book
Fairs, shares Coxen's enthusiasm for the project.

"We are proud to be involved with Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages' efforts to
focus on children's literacy," said Collins. "Providing the children of
Providence with opportunities to read at an early age will improve their
ability to become lifelong learners."

With more than 600 directories published in the United States and
internationally, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages is the world's largest publisher
of Yellow Pages shopping directories. Its affiliate, Bell Atlantic Electronic
Commerce Services, is the creator of BigYellowSM, a leading online
shopping service on the Internet.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 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.