U.S. CELLULAR LAUNCHES $1 MILLION CAMPAIGN TO HELP SCHOOLS
Chicago, Nov. 2, 2009 - As the economy's slow recovery continues to take a heavy toll on our schools, the need for additional funding has never been greater. That is why U.S. Cellular is continuing its commitment to education with a $1 million donation to schools.
Once again, the Calling All Communities campaign will award $100,000 to 10 schools across the nation. Public and private schools, kindergarten through high school, big or small, all are eligible to win. From Nov. 13, 2009, through Jan. 15, 2010, individuals 18 years or older can visit any U.S. Cellular store to get a code to vote online for their school. There is no purchase necessary and you don't have to be a U.S. Cellular customer to vote. The 10 schools with the most votes will receive $100,000 to use however they choose.
"Many school districts are literally in crisis mode," said Jeff Childs, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for U.S. Cellular. "As a company, we care about kids and the quality of the education they receive. The passion and energy of our 9,000 associates will help spread the word as we get behind this common purpose."
There is plenty of evidence of the need for help. At least 36 states have cut or proposed cuts to education, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A University of Washington study projects that states will cut an average of 18 percent of their education spending over the next three years.
According to a survey conducted by the American Association of School Administrators, 76 percent of school administrators report that the economic downturn has negatively affected student achievement.
The drastic budget reductions are forcing many school districts to eliminate academic programs, extra-curricular activities, staff and basic school supplies. More than three in five parents (61 percent) believe the quality of education will suffer because of school cutbacks.
Last year's Calling All Communities campaign was driven by U.S. Cellular associates' grassroots efforts and communities rallying behind their schools. More than 120,000 votes were cast for 6,500 schools across the country. Winners represented public and private schools in Wisconsin, Illinois, Oklahoma, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Nebraska and Iowa. Funds were used for everything from scholarships and computer labs to playgrounds and gymnasium renovations.
Wendy Hooks, principal of Brogden Primary, a winning school in Dudley, N.C., spoke of other intangible benefits of being a Calling All Communities champion.
"Our school and children really needed this money as most of our kids come from working class families," said Hooks, whose school is featured in U.S. Cellular's national advertising campaign. "What we lacked in financial support, we more than made up for in spirit and hope."
Visit our Calling All Communities Facebook page and www.uscellular.com/callingallcommunities for pictures and videos from the 2009 campaign.
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® Tour and Pearl Flip, and the touch-screen LG Tritan, 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.