BUFFALO - The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) and Verizon SuperPages officially unveiled a state-of-the-art computer laboratory located in the Central Library in a ribbon-cutting ceremony held today at 10 a.m. A $50,000 grant from Verizon SuperPages funded the lab and the Library's first-ever L.E.A.D. (Libraries Expand Access for Discovery) Through Technology project. L.E.A.D. provides access to computers, the Internet and online resources as well as training opportunities for teachers, students and adults in an effort to improve computer literacy levels.
"Through the generosity of Verizon SuperPages, the L.E.A.D program is able to reach a number of important groups in the community, providing them with the technological skills needed to succeed in the 21st century," said B&ECPL Director Michael C. Mahaney. "Teachers are encouraged to schedule class visits, students are able to work on homework assignments and adults are given the opportunity to gain valuable new skills."
To celebrate the opening, students from School #6 joined Deputy County Executive Carl Calabrese, B&ECPL Board Chairman Daniel T. Roach, B&ECPL Director Michael C. Mahaney and Verizon Information Services Regional Sales Manager Robert Bickmire in an interactive demonstration of the L.E.A.D. Through Technology curriculum for students.
"As a national advocate for literacy and computer literacy, Verizon SuperPages wants to improve people's access to computers and provide the necessary tools to help them learn to use the Internet," said Robert Bickmire, regional sales manager for Verizon Information Services. "This partnership helps us do that, and it's a great complement to the educational sites we've established on SuperPages.com -- Enlighten Me and Internet Learning Tutor."
Teachers are invited to schedule interactive class visits to explore a number of valuable resources, including the B&ECPL's Live Homework Help program, online Catalog and Kids' Corner Homework Page (www.buffalolib.org) as well as special elements of SuperPages.com's Enlighten Me literacy Web site (www.superpages.com/enlightenme). Age-appropriate curriculum has been developed for grades 4-6, grades 7-9 and grades 10-12. Classes are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and noon.
Students are invited to visit the L.E.A.D. computer lab on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to work on assignments, type papers and connect with online tutors. Staff is available to answer questions during these open hours.
Adults can complete self-guided tutorials to learn computer basics as well as use SuperPages.com's Internet Learning Tutor (www.superpages.com/ilt) to gain effective Internet usage skills. Staff is available to assist adults in the L.E.A.D. lab on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. as well as on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
Anyone interested may call (716) 858-8900 or visit www.buffalolib.org for more information.
The technology lab features 12 student computer stations, one instructor computer station, projection capabilities and a printer networked to all stations. Each computer is Internet-accessible and is loaded with a full package of Microsoft applications.
Verizon SuperPages sponsors community outreach programs across the nation to increase literacy among people of all ages and to help them gain the skills they need to be computer literate. These programs contribute to Verizon's commitment to increasing U.S. literacy levels.
WKBW-TV, ABC 7, serves as the media co-sponsor for this year-long program. Additional funds came from the Library Foundation of Buffalo & Erie County, the State of New York and the County of Erie.
The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System, comprised of the Central Library, 15 city branches, 36 contract library facilities and mobile and outreach services, is dedicated to enriching the lives of Erie County's diverse community members by providing open and equal access to information and technology. For further information, contact the Office of Community Relations at 858-7182 or visit the Library's website at www.buffalolib.org.
Verizon Information Services is the world's leading print and online directory publisher, a content provider for communications products and services, and the largest publisher of Hispanic directories in the U.S. With operations in 14 countries and annual revenues of more than $4.3 billion, Verizon Information Services publishes more than 1,200 U.S. Verizon SuperPages directories and nearly 400 international directories with a total circulation of approximately 150 million copies worldwide.
Based in the Dallas area, Verizon Information Services produces and markets SuperPages.com, the Internet's #1 online directory and shopping resource. SuperPages.com receives as many as 15 million visits and 9 million unique visitors a month and powers directory services on MSN, InfoSpace, Excite, Lycos, Univision.com, Terra.com, YupiMSN.com, Ask Jeeves, HotBot, BigFoot, Tripod and Angelfire as well as more than 2,500 affiliate Web sites.
The company supports computer literacy with philanthropic programs and through the Enlighten Me and Internet Learning Tutor sites on SuperPages.com. Enlighten Me is a fun site where children and their caregivers go to read, learn and explore. The Internet Learning Tutor is specifically designed for adults who are just learning their way around the Internet.
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 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.