Celebrating our Volunteers - Aliant Pioneer Week October 28 - November 3

    Power Up to Read - Aliant Pioneers launch new bilingual educational

    ST. JOHN'S, NL, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - Every year volunteerism in Atlantic
Canada receives a significant helping hand through the work and dedication of
the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers - an organization made up of over
8,600 volunteers who contribute up to 150,000 volunteer hours every year. The
organization also donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to many causes and
projects across the entire Atlantic Region with a focus on literacy and
education. To celebrate this week, Pioneers are launching a new bilingual
educational program - Power Up To Read.
    Taking this one week, October 28 - November 3, the Aliant Pioneer
organization takes the time to thank every volunteer for their countless hours
of work and dedication to building and strengthening our communities.
    Sharon Duggan, Chair- Advisory Board, TelecomPioneers of Canada and Vice-
President, Customer Experience Transformation and Development, Bell Aliant
comments, "Our volunteers are the building blocks of this incredible
organization strengthening and growing our signature Aliant Pioneer programs
throughout our hundreds of communities in Atlantic Canada where they work and
    "Pioneers hand-make thousands of Heart Pillows for recovering heart
surgery patients, they donate thousands of books to schools, they help fill
thousands of Backpacks for Kids, and they fill important roles to support the
internationally acclaimed Computers for Schools program. And that is just the
tip of the iceberg," says Ms. Duggan.
    With a focus on supporting literacy programs and with a mandate to
continue to broaden the scope of the work of the organization, the Aliant
Pioneers are excited to launch a new bilingual educational project - Power Up
To Read. Literacy continues to be a significant issue across the country.
According to the ABC Canada Literacy Foundation four out of 10 adult
Canadians, age 16 to 65 - representing 9 million Canadians - struggle with low
literacy including NL, PEI and NB.
    "Power Up to Read is an engaging multimedia reading program with
universally designed features to help all levels of students learn reading
comprehension strategies. Leveraging the latest research-based approaches to
reading instruction, Power Up To Read helps students improve reading
comprehension, build enthusiasm for reading, and develop essential technology
skills,'" says Ms. Duggan.
    The program is available online, in print and on CD. Program content is
geared toward 4th- and 5th-grade students as they transition from "learning to
read" to "reading to learn."
    The Aliant Pioneers will be proactively bringing the program to local
schools in the coming weeks to share the opportunities with grades 4 and 5
students across Atlantic Canada.
    Aliant and the Pioneers have made youth and education a top focus in
their community, sponsorships and volunteer programs. Most recently Aliant
launched Aliant Stories on the Phone, a story-telling service offering
children from kindergarten to high school the opportunity to call in and
listen to a story up to five minutes in length; and the Pioneers in the last
eight years have delivered over 30,000 "I like Me" personalized bilingual
readers since the launch of the program which is focused on building
self-esteem in young children, as a couple of examples.
    "It is our commitment to continue to find ways to connect with our
communities and make a difference in the lives of the people who live there",
adds Ms. Duggan. Our volunteers, both retirees and active employees of Aliant,
live up to their reputation everyday by being some of the most giving people
in the world. At Aliant we are proud to call them our own."


    About Aliant Pioneer Programs:

    POWER UP TO READ: The primary purpose of Power Up To Read is to help
children improve their reading comprehension skills.
    Power Up to Read is an engaging multimedia reading program with
universally designed features to help all levels of students learn reading
comprehension strategies. The program is available online, in print and on CD.
    Leveraging the latest research-based approaches to reading instruction,
Power Up To Read helps students improve reading comprehension, build
enthusiasm for reading, and develop essential technology skills. The program
is based on two books written in a reader-friendly folk-tale format. Research
has shown folk tales to be an effective way to help students clearly
understand what they are reading. Each of the folk tales has companion
educational text that further supports the subject matter.
    Program content is geared toward 4th- and 5th-grade students as they
transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." Children at this
grade level are expected to rely on their reading skills to gather information
about other subject areas. But if reading skills are poor, they often fall
behind in other subjects. Power Up To Read provides positive direction at a
very critical point in the education process.
    Students can be expected to build a stronger vocabulary, strengthen
word-recognition skills, and develop fluency.  Together, these three
components serve as the foundation for the development of comprehension skills
critical to success.
    Progress is measured through a work log and also through a feature known
as Quick Checks. The work log automatically records student responses to Stop
and Think prompts in the text.  Quick Checks enables tutors and students to
measure a student's understanding of the text.
    Power Up to Read has user-friendly interface and step-by-step supports to
help students, tutors, and parents get started right away.

    Anyone interested in reviewing the program can visit the site at:

            http://putr.telecompioneers.org/putr/auth-login ; and

                     enter username and password : tester

    To obtain more information on this program, please contact:

    Nova Scotia (Karen.dunphy@aliant.ca)
    Prince Edward Island (Karen.dunphy@aliant.ca)
    New Brunswick (Candace.salkey@aliant.ca)
    Newfoundland & Labrador (shawn.brown@aliant.ca)

    PROJECT:CONNECT features a series of seven interactive games that span the
curriculum in grades 4-7. These games are provided without charge to schools
and community groups by the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers. Each game includes:

    - A student-friendly user guide with built-in instructions on how to play
      the game.
    - A facilitator guide featuring detailed step-by-step instructional
      procedures keyed to content learning objectives and national education
    - A technical glossary and integrated instruction and game simulation
    - On-screen "gurus" that feature the Pioneers of telecommunications
      technology, providing help your students can understand.

    To request a complimentary Logon ID for your school or community group -
visit Aliantpioneers.com

    HEART PILLOWS - We hand make each one of our red heart pillows. We
distribute close to 3,000 each year to hospitals in Atlantic Canada. These
pillows have proven to be effective therapy for those recovering from surgery.
During 2004, we launched the first Pioneer version of the children's heart
pillow in Canada. Over 100 of these tiny heart pillows are expected to be
distributed to young patients this year.

    COMPUTERS FOR SCHOOLS - The highly esteemed and multiple-award winning
Computers for Schools program expects to reach an incredible goal during 2007
- that of reclaiming, refurbishing and recycling 900,000 used government and
business computers for needy schools and libraries! The spectacular
achievements of this program, the result of an incredible, dedicated
partnership effort between the TelecomPioneers  and Industry Canada exceeded
everyone's expectations and have in fact raised the bar in terms of overall
Pioneers partnership performance going forward. Bundled in with the PCs
distributed are some 300,000 software packages, bringing the total savings to
the education system in Canada to an estimated $100 million -- and counting!
Here in Atlantic Canada, we expect to hit the 70,000th computer donation
during 2007.

    HUG-A-BEARS - One of our most popular programs ever. Since we introduced
this program here in Atlantic Canada over fifteen years ago, we have
distributed tens of thousands of these cuddly toys. Our Hug-a-Bears have
traveled all around the world! They are primarily for use by police, fire and
emergency relief units in comforting children and older adults in traumatic

    AUDIO LOOPS - This decades old project assists the hard of hearing. Our
Aliant Pioneer Volunteers install "Audio Loops" to work with existing Public
Address (PA) systems. These loops improve the sound quality of PA systems for
people that wear hearing aids. Our "loops" can be found in churches, meeting
rooms, theatres, and classrooms around Atlantic Canada.

    About the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers

    The Aliant Pioneer Volunteers is the largest corporate based volunteer
organization in Atlantic Canada. The over 8,600 members are made up of current
and former Aliant employees and its predecessor companies. The Aliant Pioneer
Volunteers' focus on education and technology related projects within their
    Over the past nine decades, the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers, along with
their families, have assisted a wide variety of community service efforts.
These energetic and innovative volunteers often offer their support at a
moment's notice. In the past year alone, the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers raised
hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity and contributed close to
150,000 volunteer hours to community efforts.
    The work of the Aliant Pioneer Volunteers contributes to Aliant's overall
community investment program. In 2007, Aliant will invest $5 million through
corporate donations, in-kind contributions, and sponsorships programs.
    The Aliant Pioneer Volunteers are part of TelecomPioneers,  the largest
industry-based volunteer organization in the world. The TelecomPioneers boast
nearly 620,000 men and women throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico
who work together to make their communities better places in which to live and

    Aliant Pioneer Volunteers
    People. Helping People.

    About Bell Aliant

    Bell Aliant (TSX: BA.UN) is one of North America's largest regional
communications providers. Through its operating entities it serves customers
in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and
technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added
business solutions. Through its xwave offices, Bell Aliant also provides IT
professional services in Canada and the US. Bell Aliant's 10,000 employees are
committed to deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and
convenience. In Atlantic Canada, communications products and services are
delivered to customers through the Aliant brand.

For further information:

For further information: Anna Peddle, Communications Manager, Aliant,
1-888-818-6825, Anna.Peddle@aliant.ca; Michael Sears, Pioneer Manager, Aliant,
1-800-565-1436, Michael.Sears@aliant.ca

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