Third graders from Thomson Elementary School Entertained by Free Reading Hosted by the D.C. Public Library

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Children from
Thomson Elementary School listened to the Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall
today at a special session of "Reading Through The Seasons." The children were
brought together in celebration of literacy and libraries by DC LEARNs in partnership
with the District of Columbia Public Library, Verizon SuperPages and,
and WTTG-TV, FOX 5. Guest reader and Fox Newscaster Todd Wallace kicked off
the program's second year with the reading at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

The "Reading Through The Seasons" program is funded by a $25,000 grant from
Verizon Information Services, publisher of Verizon SuperPages telephone directories
and Verizon online directory. The grant is part of a larger Verizon
Reads $100,000 donation announced earlier this year. "Reading Through The Seasons"
seeks to instill a love of reading and libraries in school-age children with
a series of season-related book readings by local celebrities. District of Columbia
Public Library staff organizes the "Reading Through The Seasons" sessions for
DC LEARNs. The series this year has been expanded to include storytelling programs
in eight neighborhood libraries in Washington, D.C.

"Young children who are encouraged to visit their public or school library
maintain an appreciation through adulthood for all that libraries offer, and
they often pass that appreciation along to other young people in their lives,"
said Molly Raphael, director, District of Columbia Public Library. "We are excited
to begin our second year with the children of Thomson Elementary School."

During the kick-off event, each child received a copy of Ox-Cart Man,
a tee-shirt and the Internet Learning Disc, an educational CD-ROM developed
by Verizon Information Services that helps novice Internet users navigate the

"Nearly 20 percent of 9-year-olds watch six or more hours of television each
day. We need to combat this disturbing trend by encouraging children to use
the library and its resources," said Stuart Schnell, general sales manager,
Verizon Information Services. "Verizon is proud to be working with DC LEARNs
as it makes trips to the library educational and enjoyable."

Verizon's partnership with DC LEARNs is part of a national campaign to support
literacy and computer literacy initiatives. Verizon Information Services provides
financial support, donates volunteer hours to literacy programs and has collected
nearly 500,000 books for underprivileged children. These programs are part of
Verizon's overall commitment to leading the effort to increase U.S. literacy
levels. Through its signature programs, Verizon Reads and the Verizon Literacy
Network, Verizon works to increase community and corporate awareness, raise
funds, encourage collaboration among literacy providers and engage employees
in supporting literacy programs.

"Reading Through The Seasons" will continue throughout 2002 with free readings
at D.C. Public Libraries. For more information, about this and other library
programs visit


D.C. LEARNs (The D.C. Literacy Education and Resource Network) is a coalition
of 45 literacy providers and stakeholders whose mission is to build capacity
and effectiveness of literacy services for adults, families and children in
the District of Columbia. To contact the coalition, call Marcia Harrington at

About Verizon Information Services and

Verizon Information Services is the world's 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 publishes nearly 1,200 U.S. Verizon SuperPages directories
and 400 international directories with a total circulation of approximately
142 million copies worldwide.

Verizon Information Services also produces and markets, the
Internet's #1 online directory and shopping resource. receives
as many as 12 million visits and 9 million unique visitors a month.
also powers directory services on MSN, InfoSpace, AltaVista, Excite, Lycos,
Ask Jeeves, HotBot, BigFoot, Tripod and Angelfire.

Based in the Dallas area, Verizon Information Services is a unit of Verizon
Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), one of the world's leading providers of communications

Through its signature Verizon Reads program and the Verizon Literacy Network,
Verizon is committed to leading the fight to increase U.S. literacy levels by
creating community and corporate awareness, raising funds, encouraging collaboration
among literacy providers and engaging employees in supporting literacy programs.
Verizon Information Services supports community outreach programs across the
nation designed to increase the literacy rate of children and adults, and to
help people of all ages become computer literate.

For more information on Verizon Information Services, visit
For more information on Verizon's literacy programs, visit
and click on the Verizon Reads icon.


Media contact:Monica Lofton, DC Public Library,
Elizabeth Tusing, Verizon
Information Services, 703-289-0674
Nicole Lowe, Young & Associates, 301-309-9404

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