NYC Readings in the Parks Program Takes Children For a Walk Down Literary Lane

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NYC Readings in the Parks Program Takes Children For a Walk Down Literary Lane

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages Funds Free Children's Readings For Second Consecutive Year

May 5, 2000


Stephanie Hobbs,

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages
(703) 289-0607

NEW YORK - New York City schoolchildren were inspired by the statues of history's great authors adorning Literary Walk today at the first event of the Readings In The Parks series. The community-focused campaign to keep New York's students reading throughout the summer months kicked off today at this Central Park landmark. The series, which is funded by Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages, presents free readings to parents and children in the city's parks.

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages is underwriting the program for the second consecutive year with a $30,000 donation. The City Parks Foundation and City of New York/Parks & Recreation plan and organize the readings, which take place throughout city's five boroughs. The readings begin this month and continue through August.

City of New York/Parks & Recreation Commissioner Henry J. Stern, City Parks Foundation Executive Director Deborah Landau and Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages Vice President Mary Jo Howe gathered with two second-grade classes from PS-59 at Literary Walk to listen to children's author and storyteller Mary Brigid Barrett read from James Marshall's George and Martha Encore.

"It's wonderful to bring extensive programming to neighborhood parks," said Landau, executive director, City Parks Foundation. "Readings in the Parks is a great way to promote literacy and spark children's imaginations."

Established in 1998, Readings In The Parks serves children between the ages of five and nine by offering 50 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 by providing a comfortable, neighborhood environment that facilitates both education and recreation.

"Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages is honored to be a part of a program that instills the importance of reading beyond the classroom," said Howe, vice president of strategy, marketing and customer care for Bell Atlantic Directory Group. "Readings in the Parks consistently promotes literacy in a setting that stimulates children's creativity and imagination."

For more information about reading times and locations, call (212) 360-8290.


The City Parks Foundation ( 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 program 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.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services and market leaders in wireless services. 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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