Education Campaign Targets K-4th Grade Classes with Phone Fun!
May 12, 1999
|Media contact:||Sharon Shaffer,
PHILADELPHIA -- Even the youngest telephone customers in southeastern Pennsylvania are getting ready for 10-digit dialing. In classrooms across the region, children are learning the new way of dialing phone calls using coloring books supplied by Bell Atlantic.
The fun-filled approach for youngsters is part of the company's public education campaign to inform southeastern Pennsylvanians that the "Ten-number Numbersm" change will occur June 5.
That's when area codes will become a part of the telephone number for all Pennsylvanians in the current 215 and 610 area codes.
Working with local school authorities, Bell Atlantic is distributing hundreds of thousands of interactive Phone Fun! coloring books to all kindergarten through fourth-grade classrooms in southeastern Pennsylvania to help children get ready for the Ten-number Number change.
Since December, the company has encouraged people to get used to dialing 10 digits -- the area code and seven-digit phone number -- for calls within and between the 215 and 610 area codes. After June 5, callers in these two area codes who dial a seven-digit number will hear a recorded message instructing them to dial both the area code and telephone number.
In addition, two new area codes are being introduced in southeastern Pennsylvania. Starting in July, customers who request new service, an additional line or, in some cases, who want to move their service may be assigned numbers in the new 267 and 484 area codes. The new 267 area code will have the same geographic boundaries as the current 215 code.
The new 484 area code will parallel the boundaries of the current 610 code.
"Since a whole new way to dial local calls is coming to southeastern Pennsylvania, Bell Atlantic is making sure its customers -- from the youngest to the oldest -- are ready for the change," said Sandy Scott, Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania's manager for area code customer education.
Bell Atlantic developed the interactive coloring book as a teaching tool that explains the dialing change in a story format. The books were very successful in helping children adapt to a new dialing change when Maryland moved to statewide 10-digit dialing in 1997.
The coloring books will help kids build their own Ten-number Number personal phone directory so they can contact their parents and friends easily. Phone Fun! includes drawings and text that illustrate the dialing changes children need to make.
"Soon, you'll also have to dial the area code every time you make a call. That's why it's called the Ten-number Number," the book explains. "You'll also have to dial the Ten-number Number when you call your grandma across town. Or your mom or dad at work. So remember to use the Ten-number Number when you make all your calls. And don't forget to ask permission before you dial."
Bell Atlantic is encouraging parents and teachers to use the coloring book together with their children.
Bell Atlantic is spreading the word about Ten-number Number dialing elsewhere, too. Employees are meeting with civic and senior citizen organizations. The company will begin advertising shortly, and information on the dialing change and new area codes has appeared in Extra, a newsletter included in customers' Bell Atlantic phone bills.
The demand for new telephone numbers is exploding as people are communicating more than ever using additional phone lines, cellular phones, pagers, computer modems and fax machines. In addition, Pennsylvanians increasingly have a choice of which company provides their local phone service, and these competing companies require phone numbers for their customers.
This heavy demand for phone numbers is driving the need for new area codes throughout Pennsylvania and across the country. In fact, the new 570 area code was added in northeastern Pennsylvania earlier this year, while the 724 area code was created in western Pennsylvania last year.
Pennsylvanians can get more information on the area codes and dialing changes by calling Bell Atlantic's toll-free Area Code Information Line (800-500-2167) or by visiting the company's special area code pages on the World Wide Web (http://www.bellatlantic.com/areacode).
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine 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