Underwood Praises Bell Atlantic Pioneers for Volunteerism

Underwood Praises Bell Atlantic Pioneers for Volunteerism

Volunteers Wired Nearly 2,000 Classrooms for Internet

Aug. 7, 1998


Paul Miller,

WHEELING, W.Va. -- Many of West Virginia's school children now can
surf the Internet from their classrooms thanks to the efforts of Bell Atlantic
Telephone Pioneers who have connected nearly 2,000 classrooms to

Gov. Cecil H. Underwood last week recognized some 400 Pioneers, who
volunteered thousands of hours of their time, by presenting them with his
annual Governor's Service Award for outstanding community service.

The recognition came at the 1998 West Virginia State Conference on
Volunteerism, Community Service and Service Learning held at Oglebay
Resort Park here.

"Our Pioneers are without peers when it comes to community service,"
said Dennis Bone, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - West Virginia.
"Their spirit of volunteerism dates back to the early years of our business.
I'm delighted that the governor has honored them with this prestigious

The Pioneers, a volunteer service organization affiliated with Bell Atlantic,
began connecting West Virginia schools to the Internet in 1995 as part of
the company's WORLD SCHOOL initiative. The volunteers, who are Bell
Atlantic employees and retirees, have since wired roughly 200 public and
parochial schools in Bell Atlantic's West Virginia service area.

The Pioneers have installed roughly 420,000 feet of wire and some 2,000
jacks. Total volunteer hours to date exceed 13,600.

The Pioneers are continuing their work to wire the state's schools.
Schools interested in learning more about WORLD SCHOOL and how
they can be wired to the Internet should call 888-247-5399, or 344-6312
for Charleston-area callers.

The Governor's Service Awards program was established in 1995 in
response to President Clinton's AmeriCorps National Service initiative.
Individuals, families and organizations are eligible for the award. The
recipients must be West Virginians.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines and more than
seven 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.