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Children Learn How to Dial 911 on a Cell Phone before Summer Break

ROANOKE, Va. (May 14, 2010) — For children, knowing how to place a 911 call from a traditional home phone and a wireless phone could possibly mean the difference between life and death. The information they provide to emergency responders during a crisis is also extremely critical. That's why U.S. Cellular partnered with Roanoke E-911 officials and the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia to teach club members about safety as part of the company's "Cellular Stars" Program.

"When great community partnerships like these are forged, everyone benefits," said Roanoke Mayor David Bowers. "We especially appreciate any programs that help keep our children safe."

On May 13, more than 60 children learned the difference between dialing 911 from a cell phone and a landline. They were also taught what kind of information operators need during an emergency, how the 911 system works and other safety tips.

"Summer break is just around the corner, and this is a good time to reinforce cell phone safety tips so our children will know just what to do if there is an emergency and they need to get help," said Dee Taylor, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in the Mid-Atlantic. "We believe parents and children should know the benefits and safety features of their cell phones, and we're happy to share them."

In addition, Taylor offers these safety tips for parents and guardians to share with young children:

  • Learn important numbers first – Every child should know their home phone number, their parents' cell phone numbers and 9-1-1. It's important to stress to children when and why these phone numbers are important. Act out pretend scenarios to help them prepare for an actual emergency.
  • The pretend phone game – Write down your phone number on a piece of paper. Using a toy phone or your powered down cell phone, have your child dial the number. Allowing him/her to use the cheat sheet as a reference. The goal is for you child to eventually recall the numbers by memory.
  • Practice makes perfect – Have your child repeat the phone numbers to you a couple of times a day. You can even make up a catchy tune to go with the numbers to help them remember it. Give your child "surprise" tests by having him/her repeat the numbers at various times of the day.
U.S. Cellular and the Montgomery County Police Department will conduct other "Cellular Stars" programs on May 24 at 3 p.m. at Christiansburg Middle School and on May 25 at 3 p.m. at Shawsville Middle School.

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® Tour and the touch-screen LG Tritan and HTC Touch Pro 2, which offer e-mail and Web access. U.S. Cellular believes in the power of the community and has made a commitment to invest more than $4.5 million in teachers and schools during 2009 and 2010. Based in Chicago, the company is the nation's sixth-largest wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or You can also check out U.S. Cellular on Facebook.

About Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia was incorporated in 1997, when it was known as The Boys & Girls Club of Roanoke Valley. Regionally, over 1,000 youth in the Roanoke and New River Valley areas have become members. Together, the clubs now operate as a regional effort, working together to maximize resources and serve children. For more information visit