New York - Today in Central Park, renowned neo-expressionist artist Peter Max and New York Giants Pro Bowl offensive tackle Lomas Brown joined PS-59 students to kick off the 2001 Readings In The Parks program.
In the unique setting of Literary Walk in Central Park, Max sketched the storytelling scene with the listening children; the illustration was donated to PS-59. The event combined the important messages of children's literacy and environmental advocacy with Lomas's reading of Lynne Cherry's The Great Kapok Tree and Max's presentation on environmental awareness.
Verizon Information Services, the publishers of SuperPages (formerly the Verizon Yellow Pages)and SuperPages.com, is funding the program for the third consecutive year with a $35,000 donation to the City Parks Foundation. The Foundation plans and organizes more than 50 summer readings throughout the city's five boroughs. This is the most extensive program of its kind in New York City.
The 2001 Readings In The Parks program-expected to attract more than 10,000 New York City schoolchildren this summer-was initiated today by Andrew Tisch, trustee of the City Parks Foundation, Henry J. Stern, commissioner for the City of New York/Parks & Recreation, and Pat Marshall, group vice president - marketing for Verizon Information Services.
''Verizon is committed to building literate communities,'' said Marshall. ''Readings In the Parks serves this commitment by reaching out to New York City's students and emphasizing the importance of reading beyond the classroom.''
Marshall also announced that Max is designing the cover art for the Verizon New York City Yellow and White Pages for four boroughs. His artwork will appear on more than 7 million directories. The Manhattan SuperPages Directory-to begin distribution the first week of August-will be the first to feature the unique Max cover.
''The City Parks Foundation's goal is to bring free cultural and educational activities like Readings In The Parks to neighborhood parks and playgrounds,'' said Tisch. ''Readings In The Parks is a great example of what we do - making extensive programming possible using local parks as our outdoor theater.''
Established in 1998, Readings In The Parks serves children between the ages of five and nine by offering free storytellings of popular children's books in nearly 40 parks. The program is modeled after the City Parks Foundation's Arts In The Parks program, which presents magicians, artists and musicians in free shows throughout the city's parks and playgrounds. New York City's parks play an essential role in the Readings In The Parks program by providing a comfortable, neighborhood environment that facilitates both education and recreation.
WYNW-TV, Fox 5, is co-sponsoring the Readings In The Parks, which began today and will continue through August. For more information about reading times and locations, call 212-360-8290.
About Peter Max
From visionary pop artist to Neo-expressionist master, Peter Max and his vibrant colors have become part of the fabric of contemporary American culture. His art has been exhibited in hundreds of museums and galleries worldwide. He has been the Official Artist for dozens of major events ranging from Earth Day and World Series 2000 to five Super Bowls and five Grammy awards. Peter Max has been commissioned to complete many major works for New York City, including a jumbo jet painted to commemorate NYC 2000 that is currently flying the skies worldwide for Continental Airlines. More information about the artist can be found at www.petermax.com.
About Lomas Brown
Lomas Brown is one of the premier left offensive tackles in the NFL and a seven-time Pro Bowl selection. Brown has played in the NFL for 15 seasons with the Detroit Lions, the Arizona Cardinals and the Cleveland Browns. The New York Giants signed Brown in March 2000. He helped lead the team to a NFC Championship and a berth in Super Bowl XXXV during the 2000-2001 season.
About The City Parks Foundation
The City Parks Foundation (www.cityparksfoundation.org) is a non-profit organization working in partnership with City of New York/Parks & Recreation. Since 1989, CPF has raised private funds from individuals, foundations, and corporations to support free recreation, arts, and education programs for children in New York City's 1600 parks and playgrounds. CPF's free programs for kids include Arts in the Parks, Puppets in the Parks, and Summer Fun in the Playground.
About Verizon Information Services and SuperPages.com
Verizon Information Services is a world leading print and online directory publisher and a content provider for communications products and services. The largest directory publisher in the world, Verizon has annual revenues of more than $4.1 billion and employs more than 11,000 people.
Verizon Information Services provides sales, publishing and other related services for nearly 2,300 directory titles in 48 states and the District of Columbia and 16 countries outside the U.S. This includes nearly 1,600 Verizon directory titles with a total circulation of approximately 107 million copies in the U.S. and 37 million copies internationally.
Verizon Information Services also produces and markets SuperPages.com, the Internet's preeminent online directory and shopping resource. SuperPages.com has received up to 8.1 million visits and 4.2 million unique visitors per month, and is the exclusive Yellow Pages provider on Excite, Lycos, AOL Service, AOL.com, Digital City, HotBot, and BigFoot.
Based in the Dallas area, Verizon Information Services is a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), which was formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE. Verizon is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com