NYNEX and Bell Atlantic Technology Plays Key Role in Support of Presidents' Summit

April 29, 1997

CONTACT: Maureen Flanagan of NYNEX, 212-395-0500, or Maureen_Flanagan@SMTP.NYNEX.COM

NYNEX and Bell Atlantic Technology
Plays Key Role in Support of Presidents' Summit

PHILADELPHIA -- NYNEX President Don Reed today outlined the key role NYNEX and Bell Atlantic technology is playing to help realize the goals of the Presidents' Summit for America's Future.

Addressing a panel on the final day of the summit, Reed noted that not only has a jointly developed NYNEX/Bell Atlantic interactive web site (www.americaspromise.org) already generated 2 million "hits," but also that technology will drive the success of the companies' previously announced four-year, $50 million commitment to provide after-school programs.

The companies plan to build after-school technology centers, Reed said, where at-risk children will receive training in leadership, the performing arts and other subjects.

"Technology can light the fire of creativity and excitement that will pull kids back from the brink of boredom and drift," said Reed. "It can create connections for kids who are tragically unconnected. For many of them, this lack of connection probably is the core of the problem.

"Providing access to technology is concrete and tangible, and it's something we can do," Reed added.

"A year or two ago, we had a national issue over keeping gyms open at night so kids could stay out of trouble by playing basketball," Reed said. "We need to think about keeping the computer room open after school hours too."

Reed noted: "Technology is extremely versatile. Unlike most parents, technology doesn't work a 9-to-5 shift. It can be made available at any hour, for any number of hours.

"Just consider the after-school hours of 3 to 6 p.m. -- three hours a day, 15 hours a week -- to be the foundation for an excellent start in learning about technology."

Providing a safe haven for young people after school is one of the fundamental elements of childhood development that the Presidents' Summit has targeted in a massive drive to secure commitments of volunteer time, money and other resources in support of America's youth.

As announced last week, Bell Atlantic and NYNEX are committed to redeploy a total of more than $50 million through the year 2000 for multifaceted programs aimed at keeping children safe after school. Reed said that program details will be announced in the coming months.

In addition, Reed said, the companies have donated more than $1.6 million to provide a wide range of communications technologies at the summit, including the interactive multimedia web site that allows the public to help write the specific action plans worked on by community delegations attending the summit.

Reed added that employees from both companies regularly contribute tens of thousands of hours each year in volunteer activities. Some employees serve as mentors in self-esteem, leadership and achievement goals while others tackle the development and improvement of facilities that house youth programs.

Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have announced plans to merge, pending regulatory approvals. The combined corporation will serve 39 million telephone access lines in 13 states and nearly 5 million cellular customers. Shareowners of both companies overwhelmingly approved the merger at special meetings in November 1996.

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