Mi Escuelita Celebrates 23 Years of Making a Difference

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DALLAS -- For 23 years, Mi Escuelita Preschool has been giving elementary age children a head start in life by helping them learn to read and speak English. On April 11, the school's annual fundraising luncheon will help provide Mi Escuelita scholarships for children of all languages.

Texas-native Tish Hinojosa, Hispanic folksinger and National Association of Bilingual Education spokesperson, will be the keynote speaker at the fundraiser luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Hotel Intercontinental. Hinojosa will be joined by special guest Daryl Johnston, former Dallas Cowboy and Verizon Literacy Champion.

The luncheon celebrates the school's successful dynamic reading and language skills program. For the fourth year in a row, Verizon is the principal sponsor for the luncheon and will donate $50,000 to Mi Escuelita's scholarship fund.

"We are grateful to Verizon for all its support during the past several years," said Carolyn Strickland, Mi Escuelita. "Our school couldn't continue the good work it does without sponsors like Verizon."

"Mi Escuelita's one-on-one instruction and nurturing environment is unique, providing a strong foundation for lifelong learning," said Ed Miller, chairman, Mi Escuelita Corporate Council and marketing director, Verizon Long Distance. "Verizon is proud to be associated with this special pre-school and pleased to help keep the focus on reading and literacy."

Mi Escuelita works with disadvantaged children of all languages, exposing them to English and pre-reading skills. With a low teacher-pupil ration of 1-to-10, the school emphasizes a good self-image, multiple language opportunities, and early preparation skills in reading. The school's five sites in Dallas serve 330 children through the generous support of many churches, organizations and businesses.

To attend the event or inquire about the scholarship fund call Mi Escuelita 214-526-0220.

Verizon is committed to being America's literacy champion by campaigning to raise literacy levels. In 1999, the company launched Verizon Reads - a comprehensive national campaign involving corporate philanthropy, community outreach, employee participation and collaboration with major literacy organizations.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 27.5 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the world's largest provider of print and online directory information. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $63 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

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