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'Calling All Teachers' U.S. Cellular campaign

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

U.S. Cellular believes teachers deserve something better. The wireless carrier is continuing its commitment to schools with the return of its Calling All Teachers campaign. As part of the company's countdown to something better in 2010, U.S. Cellular is giving $1 million to help teachers erase classroom needs.

In a partnership with DonorsChoose.org, U.S. Cellular and its local associates are encouraging Iowa teachers to register on the site in May and throughout the summer. Then, teachers can come back this fall and post their classroom projects for potential funding. DonorsChoose.org is a philanthropic website that helps public school teachers find money for classroom projects that exceed their limited budgets.

"Teachers can request everything from textbooks to microscopes to art supplies," said Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org. "It's important to give teachers the opportunity to have unique projects for their classrooms that help them provide creative ways for children to learn and be engaged."

The pinch of budget cuts has compelled many teachers to supplement shortfalls by purchasing basic supplies, such as crayons, textbooks and calculators, with personal resources. A 2010 national survey* said kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money every year to help teach kids. The study also said 70 percent of teachers believe their schools are financially unable to provide necessary teaching tools.

Throughout the spring and summer, U.S. Cellular associates are encouraging teachers to visit DonorsChoose.org and register as a "U.S. Cellular Teacher." In August, as the new school year kicks off, teachers can revisit the site for more details on posting their classroom projects.

During September and October, U.S. Cellular plans to fund $1 million in posted projects in the areas where it does business. During last year's Calling All Teachers campaign, U.S. Cellular funded 128 classroom projects in Iowa valued at more than $75,000. Teachers from 79 Iowa schools received some much-needed resources for their students.

"Our associates live and work in this community, and we are excited to show our local teachers how much we appreciate them," said Don Cochran, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Iowa. "Children deserve the best, and we believe helping teachers give them the best education possible is the right thing to do."

During last year's Calling All Teachers campaign, U.S. Cellular funded more than 2,000 classroom projects nationwide that benefited nearly 175,000 students. More than 40 percent of the funded projects were in rural schools, while another 26 percent were in urban schools. Due to the overwhelming response to the campaign last year, U.S. Cellular decided to increase its funding to $1.1 million to cover all of the projects in the areas where it does business.

For more information, visit www.uscellular.com/callingallteachers

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