December 3, 2009

School Trying to Cash In With U.S. Cellular’s Calling All Communities $1 Million Campaign

Once again, U.S. Cellular is inviting communities to rally around their favorite school to share $1 million. Ten schools across the country with the most votes will each win $100,000 to use in any way they want in the company’s Calling All Communities campaign.

Between now and January 15, 2010, anyone 18 or older can visit any U.S. Cellular store to receive a code to vote online for their favorite school. Schools K-12 of all sizes – public, private, urban and rural – have a chance to become a Calling All Communities champion.

“We at SCR-1 need your assistance, please!” said counselor Dani Fromm. “Go to any U.S. Cellular store and get a card, free of charge, then do just what the card says online. When you enter our zip code 63555, and no you do not have to be from here, our elementary and high school will show up. Please vote for the elementary so our votes aren’t split.”

Fromm stated the district would receive any prize money, which would be split between both the elementary and high school.

“It will only take a few minutes of your time,” Fromm said. Please tell the rest of your family, no matter where they live. They can go into their U.S. Cellular store, get a card, and still get online and vote for us. Please help out our kids.”

Patrons of the SCR-I school district are encourgaed to complete the process and then bring their card by the school to be entered into a drawing for honey baked hams donated by Scott Wickert and Kevin Fromm.

The campaign returns at a time when school districts across the country are feeling a greater budget pinch in a slowing economy. According to the American Association of School Administrators, the percentage of schools cutting extracurricular activities almost tripled from 10 percent in 2008-2009 to 28 percent for the 2009-2010 school year.

The State of Missouri announced in late October that as part of the effort to balance its budget, it would be cutting funding for elementary and secondary education by almost $20 million, representing a drop of 7.7% in appropriated funding.

Last year’s top 10 schools used their winnings in a variety of ways, including rebuilding a storm-damaged gymnasium, upgrading computer labs, building new playgrounds and creating scholarship programs.

“We were able to do great things for our students with the funding, and we wish all schools the best of luck with this year’s campaign,” said Penny Miller, principal of Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll, Iowa. “We could not have won last year without the support from our family, friends, neighbors, alumni and community.”

Last year, U.S. Cellular shifted its giving strategy to helping schools. The company will give more than $5 million to support schools and teachers in 2009 and 2010 through Calling All Communities and Calling All Teachers, which awards $1 million to teachers across the country to fund classroom projects.

“We’re eager to see the creativity of our local schools as they unite to gather community support,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for Missouri. “We expect Missouri schools to run strong, competitive campaigns.”

Visit uscellular.com/calling allcommunities for official rules or to view videos from last year’s campaign.

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