Signature Book Angel Program delights children at Garvin Memorial Elementary School

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Signature Book Angel Program
delights children at
Garvin Memorial Elementary School

Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages donates $50,000
to further children's literacy

May 10, 1999


Gia Oei,
(978) 762-1333

CUMBERLAND, R.I. Like pennies from heaven, Bell Atlantic Dollars
were distributed to children from the Garvin Memorial Elementary School
last week. The children redeemed the Bell Atlantic Dollars to purchase
books at their school's Scholastic Book Fair. The donation is part of Bell
Atlantic Yellow Pages' signature program called, The Book Angel
Program,which will donate $50,000 to elementary schools throughout the
company's region this year.

Bell Atlantic's program ensures that each child in the school may select
and take home a book of their own.

This is a single step along a student's journey to becoming literate, but an
important one, said Michelle Coxen, manager - Community Relations at
Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages. By giving each child the funds to buy a book,
we hope to instill in them a love of reading and help lead them to a
brighter future.

A recent study showed that 41 percent of our fourth graders in the U.S.
cannot read at the basic level, and only 28 percent performed at or above
the proficient level.

Statistics such as these convinced Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages to create a
comprehensive outreach program to support children's literacy. The Book
Angel is just one component of the efforts. Other efforts to further the
children's literacy cause in the Cumberland area include working with
Providence Reads, the city's literacy organization aimed at improving the
literacy skills of all 13,000 Providence elementary school students.

"The Bell Atlantic Book Angel program is great," said Ellen
McHugh, president - Parent Teacher Organization. The children and their
teachers are very excited. "I think it's wonderful that every child is
offered the opportunity to go home with a book, which would not be
possible without the Bell Atlantic dollars."

Bell Atlantic has formed an alliance with the nationally recognized book
company to roll-out the Book Angel program.

Scholastic Book Fairs, Inc. is a premier company for children's book fairs,
so we're very excited about this new partnership with them, said Coxen. It
seems that every day there are new reports about how reading to our
children can provide them with a positive start in life. We're glad to extend
our efforts to children in Cumberland.

Kerry Collins, vice president of Sales and Marketing at Scholastic Book
Fairs, shares Coxen's enthusiasm for the project. We are proud to be
involved with Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages' efforts to focus on children's
literacy, said Collins. Providing the children of Cumberland with
opportunities to read at an early age will improve their ability to become
lifelong learners.

With more than 600 directories published in the United States and
internationally, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages is the world's largest publisher
of Yellow Pages shopping directories. Its affiliate, Bell Atlantic Electronic
Commerce Services, is the creator of BigYellowSM, a leading online
shopping service on the Internet.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies
are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. 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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