Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Business

May 17, 2012

U.S. Cellular's Calling All Communities campaign returns in September to give $1 million to schools

CHICAGO — U.S. Cellular announced that its Calling All Communities campaign will return for the fourth year this September. It challenges schools to rally community support for the chance to win a share of $1 million to fund the projects their students need the most. The school that garners the most community votes will win $150,000 with the next 17 schools each receiving $50,000. Schools are encouraged to take advantage of the summer months to start building their winning campaigns early.

"Calling All Communities gives schools in the towns and cities where we live and work the opportunity to earn the funding they need to invest in the areas most critical to their students' learning experiences," said Carter S. Elenz, executive vice president of sales and customer service for U.S. Cellular. "We are committed to education and this annual campaign is a great way to engage entire communities to rally for a common goal."

Since the program began in 2008, U.S. Cellular has awarded $3 million to 38 schools across the country. Calling All Communities champions have used their winnings in a variety of ways to strengthen the learning experience for thousands of students. Many winning schools outfitted their classrooms with new computers, improved outdated infrastructure and renovated gymnasiums, kitchens and science labs. A few gave scholarships to graduating students while others donated some of their winnings to non-profits around the world.

"We've learned that it takes a team of dedicated parents, teachers and community members to be successful," added Elenz. "Now is the time for communities to get an early start on organizing their campaigns so they're ready for September."

U.S. Cellular gathered advice from past winners to help schools get a head start on planning for their Calling All Communities campaigns:

•  Invite your local U.S. Cellular associates to help you educate your  school and community about the program.

•  Visit uscc.com and our Facebook page to access tools on how to start your campaign and share fun videos with your friends and family. Use social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to talk about the campaign.

• Engage parent teacher organizations, alumni networks, sports teams, the school band or student groups to help spread the word by handing out campaign flyers.

For more information about U.S. Cellular and past Calling All Communities campaigns, visit uscellular.com or facebook.com/uscellular.

Check back this fall for more details about the 2012 Calling All Communities campaign. Official rules will be available when the program launches in September.

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