U.S. CELLULAR TO GIVE $1 MILLION TO HELP THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS ERASE CLASSROOM NEEDS
CHICAGO, April 14, 2009 – For the second time this year, U.S. Cellular is putting up $1 million to help schools across the country. The company's new CALLING ALL TEACHERS campaign will funnel the funds directly into the hands of thousands of teachers to subsidize classroom materials and educational experiences for students. Between now and Teacher Appreciation Week May 4-8, 2009, the wireless company and its 9,000 associates are encouraging teachers to post projects on DonorsChoose.org, a philanthropic Web site that helps public school educators find money for classroom projects that exceed their limited budgets.
"Teachers go above and beyond for children every day, while extra funding for classrooms is in short supply," said Karen Ehlers, vice president of public affairs and communications for U.S. Cellular. "With Calling All Teachers, we want to help alleviate some of the budget worries of teachers, who on average spend about $1,200 out of their own pockets each year on basic student supplies."
This new school-focused giving initiative comes on the heels of U.S. Cellular's 2009 Calling All Communities campaign that awarded $1 million to 10 schools. The company has committed to helping schools in 2009-2010 through funding and volunteerism. Associates will adopt schools to encourage participation in the Calling All Teachers campaign and to open doors for volunteer projects.
"We are excited by the number of students who will benefit from this campaign," said Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org. "Since the recession hit, more than 10,000 teachers have posted requests for basic supplies like pencils, books, chairs, even hand sanitizer. In most cases, it will take only a small amount of this generous donation to make a big difference in a classroom filled with students."
U.S. Cellular associates will drop into classrooms across the country during Teacher Appreciation Week in early May, to surprise selected teachers with the good news. The program is open to all public school teachers in the markets where U.S. Cellular does business. For more information about Calling All Teachers, visit uscellular.com/callingallteachers or your local U.S. Cellular store.
About U.S. Cellular
The 9,000 associates of U.S. Cellular believe a wireless phone enhances people's lives and a wireless company should be in the business of bringing people together. U.S. Cellular has a wide range of monthly plans, including those with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited free incoming calls and options to prepay. The company has a growing catalog of phones like the BlackBerry® Pearl and Curve, and the touch-screen Samsung Delve, which offer e-mail and Web access. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is the nation's fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com
About Calling All Communities
U.S. Cellular's Calling All Communities is a grassroots campaign that awards $1 million to 10 schools across the country based solely on their ability to rally community votes. The schools that receive the most votes receive $100,000 each from U.S. Cellular. In 2009, more than 120,000 votes were cast for 6,500 schools across the country. Winners included public and private schools in Wisconsin, Illinois, Oklahoma, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Nebraska and Iowa. Calling All Communities will launch again the Friday after Thanksgiving, giving 10 new schools a chance to mobilize their communities to become 2010 Calling All Communities champions.
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit Web site where public school teachers describe specific educational projects for their students, and donors can choose the projects they want to support. After completing a project, the donor hears back from the classroom they supported in the form of photographs and student thank-you letters. To date, 88,000 public and charter school teachers have used the site to secure funding for $30.3 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Through DonorsChoose.org, individuals from all walks of life have helped 1.8 million students from low-income families. )