WOODLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CELEBRATES $50,000 PRIZE AS U.S. CELLULAR CALLING ALL COMMUNITIES CHAMPION
JOLIET, Ill. (Nov. 15, 2011) –On Monday, U.S. Cellular associates joined the Joliet community at Woodland Elementary School in celebrating their $50,000 prize from the wireless carrier's national Calling All Communities campaign.
Joliet city officials, community leaders and parents poured into the gymnasium at Woodland Elementary, joining the school's faculty and nearly 500 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade for a lively school-wide pep rally. Teachers wore t-shirts boasting the phrase, "Woodland School called and U.S. Cellular answered." The school was also joined by an unexpected guest, Santa Claus, who personally delivered a box to U.S. Cellular associates brimming with thank-you notes from Woodland students.
The celebration was long-awaited â€“ Woodland Elementary was in the running to be a Calling All Communities champion in 2009, but the school earned enough community votes to secure its prize this year.
"We will be able to learn more outside of the classroom, especially in science, which we didn't have as much of here," said fifth grader Alexis Gallegos.
"I can't even capture the essence of what this means for us," said Dr. LaQuita Carter, principal of Woodland Elementary. "There are so many victories that have been formed as a result of this campaign. Relationships have been built that would otherwise never have occurred. Staff members were getting together on the weekends to strategize. This also gave us the opportunity to really market the positive aspects of our school."
Since its inception three years ago, the Calling All Communities campaign has grown significantly with more than 1.5 million votes being cast for 2,700 schools nationwide. Chicagoland schools have won more than $350,000 through the campaign.
"This gift to Woodland Elementary will go such a long way," said Chris Rathsack, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Chicagoland. "U.S. Cellular is proud to continue our ongoing commitment to education, which is one of the reasons we have the happiest customers in wireless. Illinois communities continue to show their love for education by getting behind their schools and going for the win."
Through this year's Calling All Communities contest, a total of 17 schools received $50,000 each, and Seymour Primary School in Tennessee received the most votes and earned the top prize of $150,000. Illinois claimed three Calling All Communities champions â€“ along with Woodland Elementary School in Joliet, Mother Teresa Catholic Academy in Crete and Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Catholic School in Orland Hills each won $50,000.
Winnings can be used any way the school sees fit to enhance students' learning experience. Woodland Elementary will use the prize money to plan student field experiences in the community, develop a series of parent engagement workshops and upgrade classroom equipment.
"We have started a dialogue, and a common thread has been the need to connect to the outside world," said Dr. Carter. "We would like to build science labs that will help develop critical thinking skills."
For more information about Calling All Communities, U.S. Cellular's cutting-edge lineup of products and services and its high-speed nationwide network, visit uscellular.com or U.S. Cellular's Facebook page.
About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicagwoodo-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Customer Service Champion and received PC Magazine's 2011 Readers' Choice Award.To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.