USA Luge Athletes to Visit Middle Schools Nationwide

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Thousands of students will experience the sport of luge without ever leaving the classroom this spring, when USA Luge

Olympic and National Team athletes visit 25 middle schools from Maine to California.

The tour, which is part of the Verizon Win-At-School program, will bring students face-to-face with elite athletes and the thrilling sport of luge for an

unforgettable experience.

"Over the past nine years, the Win-At-School program has helped educators teach tens of thousands of students some of life's significant lessons,"

said Pat Hennebry, Verizon director of corporate sponsorships. "USA Luge athletes personify the values that Win-At-School stands for and we applaud

their efforts in making this program a wonderful success."

The participating schools and dates for the 2001 Verizon Win-At-School program are:

April 23 Scarborough Middle School Scarborough, Maine
Mahoney Middle School S. Portland, Maine
School 74 Buffalo, N.Y.
School 27 Buffalo, N.Y.
April 24 Oliver W. Winch Middle School Albany, N.Y.
Cohoes Middle School Cohoes, N.Y.
Oblock Junior High School Plum, Pa.
Middle School East Huntington, Pa.
April 25 Dearborn Middle School Roxbury, Mass.
Myler Sulzberger Middle School Philadelphia, Pa.
GW Pepper Middle School Philadelphia, Pa
April 26 Gorton Junior High School Warwick, R.I.
Lombard Middle School Baltimore, Md.
April 27 Richard R. Green Middle School Bronx, N.Y
Manhattan Academy of Technology New York, NY.
McFarland Middle School Washington, D.C.
Hart Middle School Washington, D.C.
May 1 Venice Area Middle School Venice, Fla.
Madeira Beacon Middle School Madeira Beach, Fla.
May 2 Hillwood Middle School Fort Worth, Texas
Houston Middle School Garland, Texas
May 3 St. John the Baptist Middle School Draper, Utah
Eastmont Middle School Sandy, Utah
May 4 Tracy High School Cerritos, Calif.
Carmenti Middle School Cerritos, Calif.

The goal of the Win-At-School program is to encourage middle school students to work hard for their dreams and to recognize the value of dedication,

goal-setting and perseverance. USA Olympic Luge and National team athletes serve as role models for the students when they talk about their own dedication

and hard work.

In addition to hearing an inspirational speech from an athlete, the students view an exciting big-screen video about luge, Verizon's involvement and what it takes

to succeed. A curriculum guide also is provided for use in the classroom.

In keeping with the spirit of the Olympics, students at the participating schools will be invited to write short essays on the importance of cultural diversity in their

lives. Personal computers will be awarded to 17 essay contest winners nationwide, while 13 runners-up will receive $200 U.S. Savings Bonds from Verizon.

The partnership between Verizon and USA Luge has helped transform the team from a group of "field-fillers" in competition in the 1980s to a

unified and determined international powerhouse. American junior and senior athletes have won more than 220 international medals since 1990, including silver

and bronze medals in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games; a gold medal in the 2000 Inaugural Winter Goodwill Games and a team-record six medals at the 2001

Junior World Championships.

For more information, log on to www.usaluge.org.

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