Bosnian Literacy Project Expands With Completion of Individual and Small Business Investment Guides

ST. LOUIS, MO — Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt and Verizon Wireless today announced the availability of three new investment guides created specifically for the state's fast-growing Bosnian community, as part of an ongoing outreach initiative to encourage citizenship, promote new businesses and bolster English-language literacy.

These investment guides offer Bosnian immigrants investment tips and address Missouri securities laws, online investing, and fraud. Each guide, developed by the Secretary of State's office, offer side-by-side content translations in English and Serbo-Croation to eliminate language barriers for those not yet fluent in English.

"Our goal, like that of Secretary Blunt, is to assist the Bosnian community in becoming active citizens and businesspeople," said Mark Crumpton, president - Kansas/Missouri Region, Verizon Wireless. "Promoting investor protection is an exemplary way to ensure our new neighbors enjoy the advantages of living in a free society."

The Bosnian outreach initiative was launched two years ago with the creation of a voter guide. Verizon Wireless contributed $40,000 to the initiative following lengthy discussions with Secretary Blunt about his vision for enhanced community outreach programs for ethnic immigrants who have relocated to Missouri in recent years. Crumpton said the company believes these informational publications will ease Bosnians' transition to life in America and help them build brighter financial futures.

"We applaud Secretary Blunt's leadership in this vital mission to help Bosnian immigrants help themselves," Crumpton said. "We view this as part of a great American tradition of helping those who come to this country seeking a better and more productive life to realize those goals. The Bosnian community, more than 30,000-strong in the St. Louis area alone, has shown it has made, and will continue to make, a contribution to our society."

Crumpton noted that the best protection for business people and private investors is to understand the conditions of their investments. "Literacy is the first step in realizing the 'American Dream' and the best defense against fraud," he said. "The new guides undoubtedly will prove to be a valuable tool — both in reinforcing English language skills, and in helping these men and women rebuild their lives."

Guides are available at all branches of the St. Louis Public Library or through the Southside Bosnian Collaborative.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 39 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto