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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 1996
BELL ATLANTIC FOUNDATION GRANTS SUPPORT INNOVATIONS IN
Math Competition, Leadership Program and
Teacher Fellowships Are Funded
ARLINGTON, VA. -- There are many pathways into the heart
and mind of a
school child. Three grants made recently by the Bell Atlantic
Foundation in support of education highlight various approaches, as
well as some technologies that can inspire growth and learning.
The foundation's board of directors awarded grants to expand the 24
Challenge Math Competition into Delaware and southeastern Virginia
public schools; to establish video and electronic links for new sites
in the Children's Express youth information network, and to send 10
public school teachers in the Bell Atlantic area on environmental
expeditions around the world with the respected Earthwatch
organization. The teachers will share their experiences with students
over interactive distance learning networks region-wide.
The Bell Atlantic Foundation focuses its annual giving program on
pre-college math, science and technology training and on innovative
uses of technology in education.
"This series of grants demonstrates that corporate giving that is
focused on specific needs can have an impact on the community -- on
people -- that truly advances their interests," said Patrick C. G.
Coulter, president of the Bell Atlantic Foundation.
The recipients of the grants are:
- The Council of the Great City Schools/24 Challenge Math
For the past three years, the council has contracted with Suntex
International Corp. to manage a regional mathematics competition in
public schools throughout the District of Columbia and contiguous
counties in Virginia and Maryland. This year's grant will expand
the competition to public schools in Delaware and Southeastern
Virginia. In the competition, students use various math processes
to combine the numbers on colorful game cards to reach the
which is always "24." This kind of mental math competition,
begins in hundreds of classrooms and culminates in a regional
playoff, has been proven to improve the math performance of the
youngsters who play the game.
Express program and technology links to the Newark,
N.J., public library and to another site in the Bell Atlantic area.
All over the globe, young people gather after school in libraries,
youth centers and even hospital wards to ponder issues that matter
to them. Students organize themselves into teams of editors and
reporters to develop leadership and thinking skills. At some
sites, they hold roundtable discussions and engage subject matter
experts in interviews using video, voice mail, the Internet and
e-mail technologies introduced with the help of a grant last year
from Bell Atlantic. The outcome: published articles circulated in
Children's Express newsletters, public newspapers and wire
services, on issues that matter to young people generated by
- Earthwatch. This year, 10 teachers from schools in
Atlantic area will go on expeditions sponsored by Earthwatch and
then will use interactive video distance learning networks to
share their knowledge well beyond their own schools. Last
summer, five pairs of teachers spent two weeks at working
research sites sponsored by Earthwatch. Using technology
supported by Bell Atlantic grant, they returned from their
expeditions, wrote classroom curricula for sharing what they
learned, and used both video they shot and electronic mail to
share their experiences with students.
The grants, which total $328,000, bring the foundation's 1996 giving
total to $604,000.
Earlier this year, the foundation approved separate grants to two
other institutions in Bell Atlantic's service area. With its grant,
the Teletraining Institute is training nearly 500
teachers how to use
distance learning classroom technologies and to modify their teaching
styles to fit the new medium. Five vocational schools in New Jersey
will use their grant on an innovative program to teach high school
juniors and seniors the skills they need to qualify for jobs building
the Information Superhighway. This TEC 2000 program,
modeled after a
program launched three years ago by Bell Atlantic-New Jersey, has the
potential to train workers for telecommunications jobs not only in New
Jersey but in other states as well.
The foundation does not solicit requests for funding, but rather
attempts to pursue projects brought to Bell Atlantic's attention by
its employees as being effective tools to advance education and
learning in public schools.
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.
- Jim Smith, 703 974-5446