Friday, March 18, 2005

Huntington Beach Public Library

James Earl Jones, Verizon, and Literacy
Sneakeasy’s Joint: Feb 8, 2005

If, like me, you have had the honor, and pleasure, of being in the presence of the great actor James Earl Jones, then you will never, ever, forget it.

The voice, and the personality of the man it belongs to, are a force to be reckoned with.

On Monday he was in Huntington Beach, at the public library, for a worthy cause: Literacy

The library rolled out the red carpet to welcome the Tony-winning, Emmy- and Oscar-nominated actor, who came to Surf City to read to local youth and help bestow a generous grant to the Literary Volunteers of America-Huntington Beach Library.

The $25,000 grant was given by Verizon, during Monday's special event.

Jones has been the company's spokesperson since 2000.

He read a story to a bunch of local elementary school students, and had an important message as well.

"Literacy is now, and was then, the key to freedom," said Jones. "To my forbearers, books were a cherished possession. When I was a child, I stuttered and was illiterate, but I found voices in books. That's how I learned to read," he said.

It seems the Library was one of 18 programs to receive grants.

of reading and writing to adult learners in
California library literacy programs from Santa Barbara to San Diego