LATINOS READ Celebrates Literacy and Culture — and Issues a Call to...

LATINOS READ Celebrates Literacy and Culture — and Issues a Call to Action to the Hispanic Community to Read More At Home

Week of Events Include $48,000 Donation from Verizon, Celebrity Readings at Local Colleges and Libraries, and Gala Performance at the Majestic Theatre


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Dallas, TX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE
– BUSINESS WIRE)–November 14, 2005–Verizon presents LATINOS READ — Literature
in Motion, a week-long celebration of literacy in Dallas and a call to action
to the Hispanic community. Local Hispanic leaders, including Carlos Garcia de
Alba Zepeda, Consul General of Mexico in Dallas, Hector Flores, president of League
of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and Ana Cristina Reymundo, chairwoman
of LATINOS READ and editor of Nexos Magazine, join to promote the importance of
reading at home and the community’s responsibility to embrace literacy as the
foundation for a successful life.

Today at 11:00 a.m., Verizon
will kick off the week of events with a $48,000 donation to LATINOS READ, which
provides children and their families access to their favorite literary works,
serving as a bridge between basic reading and the joy and appreciation of books,
art and culture. LATINOS READ benefits Mi Escuelita Preschools and the WB33
Kids Fund, a fund of the McCormick Tribune Foundation.

“As America’s Literacy
Champion, Verizon recognizes that strong literacy skills serve as a foundational
anchor of a successful life,” said Steve Banta, Verizon Southwest Region
President. “A well-read person can become anything he or she sets as a
goal to achieve. We are encouraged that our financial support of LATINOS READ
will help focus more attention on a critical societal issue that impacts people
of all backgrounds.”

According to recent reports,
Latino children, the U.S.’s largest and fastest growing minority youth population,
are performing well below the national average in reading, with 56 percent of
Latino fourth graders reading below grade level. The week-long LATINOS READ
— Literature in Motion celebration is designed to engage the entire Latino
community in efforts to improve literacy among Latino children.

“LATINOS READ is an
event designed to promote the importance and fun of reading. Language skills
enable people to transcend barriers of class, economy, culture and geography,
and put the American Dream within their reach,” said Ana Cristina Reymundo,
Chairwoman of LATINOS READ 2005 and editor of Nexos Magazine.

LATINOS READ’s signature
event will take place on November 17 — the gala performance at the Majestic
Theater featuring well-known children’s author and singer Jose-Luis Orozco,
best known for De Colores and Other Latin American Folk Songs for Children (Dutton
1994), Diez Deditos — Ten Little Fingers (Dutton 1997), and for his newest
book Rin, Rin, Rin (Scholastic 2005). Orozco has built a successful career as
a bilingual children’s author, songwriter, performer and recording artist. He
has recorded 13 volumes of Lirica Infantil, Latin American Children’s Music.

Presented by Verizon, LATINOS
READ is also sponsored by Pizza Hut; TXU Energy; Baron & Budd, PC; Scholastic;
Brinker International; and the Dallas Mavericks.

“LATINOS READ is an
opportunity to bring Latino literature to life in DFW, most importantly to the
Latino Community. I hope everyone can join us in supporting Mi Escuelita and
WB33 Kids Fund whose efforts go far beyond the classroom, and make a difference
in the families and in the community,” added the Consul General de Mexico,
Carlos Garcia de Alba.

The week of events includes
the Dallas launch of Lee y seras, an initiative that engages families and community
leaders in children’s early literacy development. Lee y seras takes a multi-faceted
approach, including a dynamic, multi-media toolkit for community organizations,
workshops for parents and caregivers, training for community leaders to support
and advocate for Latino children, and online resources at http://www.leeyseras.net
to engage families and communities nationwide. Lee y seras emphasizes learning,
culture and family, and demonstrates how everyday at-home activities such as
singing, cooking and storytelling help young children develop early language
skills. The launch event is a Literacy Institute for Leaders that brings together
25 of the region’s influential leaders from the public and private sectors to
ensure that Latino children have the skills they need for reading and learning.
Lee y seras is spearheaded by Scholastic, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR),
Verizon and Mi Escuelita.

“I encourage all leaders
in education, family literacy and social issues to participate in the LATINOS
READ events and be a part of the enormous effort to make our children and young
people better educated, with more chances to be part of the global business
opportunity society,” said Hector Flores, national president of LULAC.

The week of events includes:

— Kick-off Press Conference
— free and open to the public
        
November 14, 2005 — 11:00 a.m.
        
Mi Escuelita Preschools
        
4231 Maple Ave.
        
Dallas, TX 75219

— Lee y seras Launch
        
November 16, 2005 — 10:00 a.m. Press Conference
        
–free and open to the public
        
10:30 a.m. Literacy Institute for Leaders
        
–by invitation only
        
Latino Cultural Center
        
2600 Live Oak at Good Latimer
        
Dallas, TX 75204

— Celebrity Reading featuring
Gustavo Morales and Alejandrina Drew
        
— free and open to the public
        
November 17, 2005 — 11:00 a.m.
        
Mountain View College
        
4849 W. Illinois Ave.
        
Dallas, TX 75211

— Gala Performance featuring
Latino artists in various disciplines
        
— free and open to the public
        
November 17, 2005 — 6:30 p.m.
        
Majestic Theatre
        
1925 Elm St.
        
Dallas, TX  75201

— Celebrity Reading featuring
Jose-Luis Orozco
        
— free and open to the public
        
November 18, 2005 — 10:00 a.m.
    
    Arcadia Park Library
        
1302 N. Justin Ave.
        
Dallas, TX  75211

— Celebrity Reading featuring
former Texas Ranger Jose Guzman
        
— free and open to the public
        
November 18, 2005 — 10:00 a.m.
        
North Oak Cliff Library
        
302 West 10th St.
        
Dallas, TX  75208

— Celebrity Reading featuring
Dallas Mavericks players
        
— free and open to the public
        
November 18, 2005 — 3:30 p.m.
        
Crossover Head Start
        
4231 Maple Avenue
         Dallas,
TX 75219

Beneficiaries:

Mi Escuelita Preschool

Mi Escuelita Preschool is
an early childhood program dedicated to teaching English and developing early
learning skills to at-risk children of all cultures for preparation toward a
successful school experience. Along with the valuable education the students
receive, the program also provides children with health and dental screenings,
vision screenings, nutritional services, speech therapy, and behavioral assessment
and assistance if required.

WB33 Kids Fund

WB33 Kids Fund is a fund
of the McCormick Tribune Foundation. WB33 Kids Fund funds grants to organizations
in the Dallas/Forth Worth area which address and serve the needs of low-income
children, youth and families. All monies raised through WB33 Kids Fund are given
back to the community in support of non-profit organizations addressing a variety
of issues. Since its inception in 1998, WB33 Kids Fund has granted more than
$10 million to our local community. For more information, visit http://www.wb33.com
or http://www.rrmtf.org.

Sponsor:

About the Verizon Foundation
and Verizon Reads

The Verizon Foundation is
the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications. In 2004, the foundation awarded
more than 26,000 grants totaling over $70 million to charitable and nonprofit
agencies that focus on improving literacy, computer and technology skills, and
identifying domestic violence solutions. The foundation uses its resources in
the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect
them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with
disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and the economically and socially
disadvantaged. The company is conducting a national campaign to increase community
awareness and to generate additional funding and support of literacy programs
for adults, children and families. Working under the banner of Verizon Reads,
a private charity, the award-winning philanthropy program reaches out to the
nearly 40 million Americans who have low literacy skills. For more information
on the foundation, visit http://www.verizon.com/foundation. For more information
on Verizon Reads, visit http://www.VerizonReads.net.

LATINOS READ Celebrates Literacy and Culture — and Issues a Call to Action to the Hispanic Community to Read More At Home