Harrisburg, PA -- The voice of Verizon was heard by 39 second-grade students from The Holy Family School today as Verizon spokesperson James Earl Jones related his personal experiences about his love of reading. Jones helped Verizon Information Services, publisher of SuperPages and creator of SuperPages.com, present a check for $50,000 to the Dauphin County Library System and the Cumberland County Library System.
The grant will enable both Library Systems to obtain equipment including six computer "set-ups," which each include a laptop computer, a computer projector and a "Smartboard" that allows an instructor to operate the computer by touching an image on the screen rather than using a keyboard or mouse.
"Verizon's gift allows the Dauphin County and Cumberland County Library Systems to provide and promote both traditional and computer literacy programs," said Richard Bowra, director, Dauphin County Library System. "Kids like the ones who heard James Earl Jones read to them today will need those kinds of skills tomorrow. We're committed to making that possible."
"Verizon's enthusiasm, passion for literacy and commitment to this community enable us to bridge the digital divide that exists between the more than 50 percent of local residents who do not have computers and/or Internet connectivity from home and those who do," commented Jonelle Darr, director, Cumberland County Library System.
"Our local communities have many needs, especially in these troubled times," said Janet Stevens, vice president - public affairs, Verizon Information Services. "As a longtime member of this community, Verizon Information Services supports the Dauphin and Cumberland libraries systems efforts to reach out to the 20 percent of our residents who need assistance in developing these must-have computer and literacy skills."
Verizon Information Services sponsors community outreach programs across the nation designed to increase the literacy of both children and adults and to help people of all ages become computer literate. 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.
The Cumberland County Library System and the Dauphin County Library System provide public library service to more than 450,000 residents of the central Pennsylvania area. The libraries reach a diverse population from a variety of cultural and educational backgrounds, and seek to provide unfettered access to information and ideas to all, regardless of age, race, gender or economic resources. The library systems support the concept of a literate, informed public and seek to encourage both traditional and computer literacy for all citizens. They are full community partners, collaborating with other agencies and institutions to further learning and access to information without unnecessary duplication of resources.
Library service falls into four broad categories: 1) lending of books, videotapes, audio books, magazines and other "traditional" library materials; 2) reference services, which include answering the public's questions and aiding them in educational and consumer research, 3) reader's advisory, which is the process of helping a user identify the most effective book or resource for their subject and guiding them to recreational reading material they will find appealing; and, 4) remote and in-library access to online sources of information, including the global internet, a wide variety of subscription databases and library-created websites.
Between the two systems, the libraries serve two counties, loaned nearly three million items per year and held numerous public programs, from aiding adults in saving and retirement strategies, to internet training and the ever-popular storytimes for children.
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 SuperPages.com, the Internet's preeminent online directory and shopping resource. SuperPages.com receives as many as 9.7 million visits and completes as many as 37.8 million searches per month. 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 services.
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 www.verizonyellowpages.com. For more information on Verizon's literacy programs, visit www.SuperPages.com and click on the Verizon Reads icon.
Mr. Jones first became the voice of Bell Atlantic in 1989 when he was featured in a commercial campaign for Bell Atlantic Directory Services. He proved to be so popular that he was adopted as a corporate-wide spokesperson in 1995. And, when GTE and Bell Atlantic merged in June of 2000 to become Verizon Communications, that partnership was extended. Mr. Jones' current activities as corporate spokesperson for Verizon include participation in many literacy and educational events such as today's check presentation to the Dauphin County Library System and the Cumberland County Library System.