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BellSouth Donates $5M to Gulf States Impacted by Katrina
~ BellSouth to Fund e-Learning Efforts to Support Education Needs ~

For More Information Contact:
Joe Chandler
BellSouth Media Relations
(404) 829-8700
[email protected]

ATLANTA – September 13, 2005 - The BellSouth Foundation today announced that it will donate $5 million towards enabling students from the Gulf States to continue their education via virtual courses. With thousands of students and teachers displaced because of the widespread devastation on the coast, online learning is a vital education resource for students impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

“The Foundation’s mission to bring e-Learning to communities in need has never been more relevant,” said Dick Anderson, chairman, BellSouth Foundation. “We want to make sure that high school students displaced by Katrina can stay on track for graduation, and on-line learning can help them to meet the necessary requirements.”

Working in collaboration with the Louisiana and Mississippi Departments of Education, BellSouth will donate $5 million in cash earmarked to provide virtual courses to affected students, train teachers in online course delivery and provide support for schools and learning centers to accommodate student needs.

“Because of the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, some of our schools will be closed for the entire school year and others will have the responsibility of educating students displaced from the severely affected areas,” said Governor Haley Barbour, Mississippi. “Hence, online courses and technology support is critical to our relief effort. BellSouth’s generous donation will help thousands of high school students continue their education and graduate on time.”

“We expect that many of our displaced students may change schools several times over the coming year, which will, in turn, increase the emotional toll on them,” said Dr. Hank Bounds, state superintendent of education, Mississippi. “Virtual courses will help provide stability and consistency for these students. This resource will also benefit the schools throughout Mississippi that have enrolled displaced students, and need additional resources to meet their educational needs.”

“We are working hard in Louisiana to meet the needs of our students displaced by Hurricane Katrina,” said Cecil Picard, state superintendent of education, Louisiana. “BellSouth’s support will help us to reach our goal of allowing Louisiana students to continue their education.”

“The damage created by Hurricane Katrina is unprecedented and our hearts go out to the victims of this tragedy,” continued Anderson. “In keeping with the tradition of BellSouth’s support for education, we are committed to serving the students displaced by this disaster by providing quality virtual learning opportunities.”


About the BellSouth Foundation
The BellSouth Foundation is an endowed trust of BellSouth Corporation that is devoted to education in the South. Since its creation in 1986, the Foundation has funded over 595 grants and operated numerous special initiatives, with a total investment of more than $56 million. For more information about the BellSouth Foundation, please visit www.bellsouth.com/foundation.

About the BellSouth Corporation
BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 100 communications company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. BellSouth has joint control and 40 percent ownership of Cingular Wireless, the nation’s largest wireless voice and data provider with 51.6 million customers.

Backed by award winning customer service, BellSouth offers the most comprehensive and innovative package of voice and data services available in the market. Through BellSouth Answers®, residential and small business customers can bundle their local and long distance service with dial-up and high-speed DSL Internet access, satellite television and Cingular® Wireless service. For businesses, BellSouth provides secure, reliable local and long distance voice and data networking solutions. BellSouth also offers online and directory advertising through BellSouth® RealPages.com® and The Real Yellow Pages®.

BellSouth believes that diversity and fostering an inclusive environment are critical in maintaining a competitive advantage in today's global marketplace. More information about BellSouth can be found at www.bellsouth.com.

   

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