Bell Atlantic Grant Gives Special Needs Students Hands-On Business Experience

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Bell Atlantic Grant Gives Special Needs Students
Hands-On Business Experience

$16,700 Earmarked for Five Union County Schools

March 31, 1999


Soraya Rodriguez,

WESTFIELD, N.J. -- Three-hundred special needs students in the five
Union County schools will create and operate a business using
telecommunications technologies, thanks to a $16,700 grant from the Bell
Atlantic Foundation.

The grant, announced today at Westlake School, is part of a Bell Atlantic
program known as Opportunity New Jersey (ONJ), which is designed to
bring the benefits of the Information Age to the state's schools, libraries
and urban areas.

"We are proud to partner with school administrators to enhance the
education of our state's youth," said William M. Freeman, president and
CEO of Bell Atlantic - New Jersey. "This is part of an effort to help
students pursue careers in the rapidly growing high-tech industry."

In addition to Westlake, the Pre.K -- 12 schools receiving the grant are
Hillcrest Academy, in Scotch Plains; Centenial HighSchool and
Beadleson High School in Westfield , and Westlake School in
Mountainside. All are administered by the Union County Educational
Services Commission in Westfield.

The special needs students will use voice, video and data technologies to
create and manage their business. The students will get involved in
product identification, sales, production, finance, public relations and
general business management.

"These recipients are a tribute to their dedicated educators and their
communities, which have taken the extra step to provide their students
with opportunities to combine creative thinking with
telecommunications," said Jim Murphy, executive director of the New
Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJSA). "I also would like
to acknowledge the involvement and support provided by the Bell
Atlantic Foundation and Ed Hartnett, superintendent of the Union County

Since Opportunity New Jersey began five years ago, Bell Atlantic has
provided nearly $500,000 to New Jersey schools, working in partnership
with the NJSA.

The Westfield-Union County schools are among five school districts in
New Jersey to receive Opportunity New Jersey grants from Bell Atlantic
this year. Other grant winners are Clayton High School in Gloucester
County, Lebanon Borough Elementary School District in Hunterdon
County, Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy High School in Clifton and
St. Philips Academy in Newark.

All public, private and parochial schools in New Jersey were eligible to
apply for ONJ grants. Grant applicants must demonstrate the use of
telecommunications and emerging information technologies to support
this year's theme of school-to-workplace readiness.

NJSA is an organization of professional educators dedicated to
advocating for school children in New Jersey. The association protects
the rights and opportunities, serves the educational interests and promotes
the educational welfare of New Jersey's youth.

The Bell Atlantic Foundation supports a variety of projects domestically
and internationally, with an emphasis on new technology applications in
education, health and human services, the arts and humanities, and civic
development in the communities served by Bell Atlantic. For more
information, visit 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.

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