by Verizon Sponsors Free Internet Learning Day to be Held in Richmond

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Richmond, Va. - To reach across the digital divide to the estimated 35 percent of adults who do not have Internet access, Verizon Information Services--a unit of telecommunications company Verizon Communications--is sponsoring a free Internet Learning Day in Richmond on Saturday, March 31. Held at the Richmond Career Advancement Center, the event is the 22nd program in a nationwide series started in 1998.

The Internet Learning Day consists of eight one-hour sessions, the first starting at 9 a.m. and the last at 4 p.m. To ensure all participants have access to a computer, reservations must be made by calling 1-877-707-7685. Participants will learn how the Internet works, its history and frequently used vocabulary. In addition to visiting a number of community and job-related Web sites, participants will also receive information on local places they can freely access the Internet. Attendees can also register to win a free personal computer.

''As a leader in the community, Verizon strives to provide comprehensive and accurate information so residents and businesses can be better connected,'' said Kathy Harless, Verizon Information Services president. ''The Internet Learning Day series addresses our community's changing needs in an Internet-focused economy.''

Saturday's Internet Learning Day is supported by the Richmond Career Advancement Center and the Richmond Public Library, along with community organizations such as the Richmond Urban League, Richmond Goodwill Industries, and the Bainbridge Blackwell Community Development Corporation that promote attendance to their members.

Each participant will receive a free copy of the Verizon Internet Learning Disc (ILDisc.) The ILDisc is an educational CD-ROM developed by Verizon that teaches novice Internet users how to navigate the Web.

''The Internet Learning Day and ILDisc give our residents an introduction to the World Wide Web and its resources,'' said Robert Rieffel, Richmond Public Library director. ''The Richmond Public Library is proud to participate in this educational event.''

Recently the Richmond Public Library received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for computer hardware and software. As a pre-cursor to the implementation of staff training and technical support, the library will distribute ILDiscs, which will help the library assist the public with their new computer resources. Free ILDiscs will be available at all 10 library branches starting April 2.

Supported by local non-profit organizations across the country, the Verizon program has helped more than 4,000 Internet novices navigate the World Wide Web with free one-hour, instructor-led training sessions. The Internet Learning Day is a complement to Verizon Information Services' electronic offerings including Verizon's, the Internet's #1 online directory and shopping site.

About Verizon Information Services and

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. The company provides sales, publishing and other related services for nearly 2,300 directory titles in 48 states, the District of Columbia and 17 countries outside the U.S. This includes more than 1,600 Verizon directory titles with a total circulation of approximately 110 million copies in the U.S. and 37 million copies internationally.

Verizon Information Services also produces and markets, the Internet's preeminent online directory and shopping resource. has received up to 4.2 million visits and 2.3 million unique visitors per month, and is the exclusive Yellow Pages provider on Excite, Lycos, AOL Service,, 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.


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