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CONTACTS: Jeanne Johnson
Sandra Arnette

Media Advisory
Former Orioles Player Reads to Baltimore Children on Summer Learning Day

What: Summer Learning Day event with former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Al Bumbry reading "Duck Soup" to children
When: Friday, July 11, at 10 a.m.
Where: Dickey Hill Elementary School
5025 Dickey Hill Road
Baltimore, Md. 21207

Baltimore, MD — As part of national Summer Learning Day, former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Al Bumbry will read "Duck Soup" to dozens of children at Dickey Hill Elementary School during an event sponsored by the Center for Summer Learning at The Johns Hopkins University and the Verizon Foundation.

Bumbry is a former Orioles outfielder who was voted American League Rookie of the Year in 1973 and was elected to the American League All-Star team in 1980. He is currently the outfield/base- running coach for the York Revolution, a professional baseball team in Pennsylvania.

"Duck Soup," written and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic of Silver Spring, Md., is the hilarious tale of Max, a duck, who tries to cook up an amazing soup.

"We are celebrating Summer Learning Day to draw attention to the importance of high-quality summer learning experiences for children everywhere," said Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Center for Summer Learning.

Summer Learning Day is a national celebration sponsored by the center to recognize the importance of high-quality summer learning opportunities in the lives of children and their families. This year, more than 200 summer programs in 34 states will hold events that draw attention to the benefits of summer learning. For a listing of Summer Learning Day events around the country, please visit www.summerlearning.org/SLDevents.

"Education is the foundation of a successful future for all children," said William R. Roberts, Verizon's regional president for Maryland and Washington, D.C. "Verizon is committed to improving literacy skills, investing in our communities and giving people the opportunity to succeed — especially our children, who are our future leaders."

Studies show that children fall behind in math in the summer; children from low-income families also slide behind in reading. Summer learning programs, however, can play a major role in closing the achievement gap. Yet there aren't enough programs nationally for children from low-income families. STEP UP (Summer Term Education Program for Upward Performance) is the first federal initiative that specifically targets summer education. Congress authorized STEP UP last year but has not funded it yet. The center is leading a national campaign to urge Congress to provide $50 million for STEP UP, which aims to stem summer learning loss in order to close the achievement gap. The pilot project would provide five weeks of summer programs for more than 30,000 students in high-poverty communities in at least five states.


The mission of the Center for Summer Learning is to create high quality summer learning opportunities for all young people. The Center is committed to expanding summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children and youth as a strategy for closing the achievement gap. Based at The Johns Hopkins University, the Center works to improve program availability and quality, build public support, and generate increased public investment in summer learning programs. For more information, visit: www.summerlearning.org.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.