1,691 TEACHERS SHARE $1.1 MILLION IN U.S. CELLULAR'S "CALLING ALL TEACHERS" CAMPAIGN TO ERASE TEACHER NEEDS
CHICAGO, May 20, 2009 – Almost 1,700 teachers nationwide received funding for classroom projects through U.S. Cellular's Calling All Teachers campaign. When the grassroots initiative launched in April the company intended to grant $1 million in classroom requests from public school teachers across the country through DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit Web site that matches educators facing shrinking budgets with potential donors.
Due to the overwhelming response from teachers during the campaign, U.S. Cellular decided to increase funding to $1.1 million to pick up the tab on all projects submitted in the communities where it does business. Projects included everything from textbooks and pencils to projectors and easels to help enrich the learning experiences of more than 170,000 students.
U.S. Cellular associates encouraged teachers to submit their classroom needs to DonorsChoose.org and 58 percent of teachers that participated in the campaign used the Web site for the first time. The number of projects submitted during the three week campaign also rose 220 percent over the same period last year. The funding covered nearly 400 requests for books, 675 technology projects and 175 art and music items.
"This was the most successful teacher engagement campaign run by a corporate partner since our Web site launched nearly a decade ago," said Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org. "When you consider the tremendous influence a teacher has in a child's life and that they say the average teacher affects 3,000 young people throughout their career, the impact goes far beyond the classroom."
To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week May 4-8, U.S. Cellular associates began visiting classrooms of teachers who benefited from the campaign and recognized them for going above and beyond for their students. Associates will continue to visit schools through this week.
"Our 9,000 associates spread the word so we could reach thousands of teachers and thank them for believing in something better for their students," said Karen Ehlers, vice president of public affairs and communications for U.S. Cellular. "95 percent of the teachers' projects we funded have reusable materials and will help students for years to come."
Earlier this year U.S. Cellular awarded $1 million to 10 schools across the country through its Calling All Communities campaign. The company has committed to helping schools in 2009-2010 through funding and volunteerism.
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
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 teacher 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.