U.S. Cellular's Calling All Communities campaign will return in September with changes that will spread the impact of its $1 million prize to more schools across the country. For the third year, the campaign will challenge schools to rally community support for the chance to enhance students' learning opportunities any way they see fit. This year, instead of 10 schools, 18 schools that garner the most votes will win a share of $1 million.
"We wanted to give even more schools the opportunity to receive needed funds and reap the intangible benefits the program can bring, like building lasting connections between neighbors and community pride," said Don Cochran, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Iowa.
"Many schools have reached out to tell us how rewarding the Calling All Communities experience was for them and have used their winnings to upgrade technology," Cochran said. "Now is a great time for communities to get an early start on organizing their upcoming campaigns, especially since there will be more chances to win."
Since the program began in 2008, U.S. Cellular has awarded $2 million to schools. Calling All Communities champions have used their winnings in a variety of ways to strengthen the learning experience for thousands of students across the country. Many outfitted their classrooms with new computers, Promethean boards and other technologies.
U.S. Cellular has awarded $100,000 to a pair of Iowa schools. Last year, Central Lutheran School in Newhall spent most of its $100,000 prize on a new gymnasium and kitchen remodel. The school also devoted 10 percent of its award to mission projects. Each grade from preschool through eighth received $1,000 to give to a person, organization or several individuals.
Carroll Kuemper Catholic High School used the $100,000 it won two years ago to establish an endowment fund for teachers' salary enhancements and invest in school-wide wireless connections and mobile computer labs.
The 2011 Calling All Communities campaign details will be available this summer. Official rules will be available when the program launches in September.