James Earl Jones Shares Love of Reading with Dallas SCORES Kids

DALLAS - James Earl Jones, renowned Tony Award-winning actor and Verizon Yellow Pages spokesman, shared a poem and stories with 30 third, fourth and fifth-grade participants in the Dallas SCORES soccer and literacy program at Stevens Park Elementary School on Sept. 26.  Jones helped Verizon Information Services, publisher of the Verizon Yellow Pages, present a $350,000 grant to America SCORES for community, health and literacy efforts.

During his exchange with the Dallas SCORES students, Jones related how he stuttered as a youth, but overcame the problem when he had to prove that he had read a poem.  The students, in turn, shared with the award-winning actor and orator some of their poetry written for the Dallas SCORES program.

Dallas SCORES, an affiliate of America SCORES, is an after-school program that uses soccer and the social camaraderie it builds to inspire literacy and health among at-risk youth in urban neighborhoods.  Verizon Information Services is America SCORES' top supporter.

“Illiteracy and obesity are among the biggest challenges facing children attending inner-city public schools in America,” said Walter Roberts, director of training and special initiatives for America SCORES, as he addressed the young people in the audience.  “America SCORES uses the proven benefits of poetry – self expression, creative writing – soccer, increased self-esteem, better physical health – and community service – good citizenship and empowerment -- to facilitate the healthy development of the whole child.”

“We’re proud to associate Verizon Yellow Pages with Dallas and America SCORES, a great organization that gives kids the tools and environment to think creatively and grow,” said David Lewis, vice president of sales for Verizon Information Services..  “We’re proud to support these literacy and soccer programs that align with Verizon Information Services’ commitment to create a community of readers in the areas in which our employees and customers live and work.  In fact, in April we launched our very first all-Spanish directory – right here in Dallas.”

Actor and Verizon Yellow Pages spokesperson James Earl Jones is well known for his stage and film roles as well as voice work in notable projects including “The Lion King,” “Star Wars,” and performances in “The Great White Hope,” “Fences,” and, most recently, “On Golden Pond” at The Kennedy Center.  Jones appears on behalf of Verizon Information Services’ literacy initiatives and believes strongly in the power and joy of reading. 

About Verizon Information Services, publisher of Verizon Yellow Pages
Verizon Information Services, a division of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), is the second largest yellow pages directories publisher in the United States.  Products include Verizon Yellow Pages, Verizon White Pages; SuperPages.com; and SuperPages On the Go information directory. 

About America SCORES
Founded in 1994, America SCORES combats obesity and illiteracy and promotes physical activity and creative thinking through a unique after-school curriculum. Dallas SCORES serves more than 300 students aged eight to 12 in under-resourced schools in the Dallas Independent School District.