U.S. Cellular: Calling All Communities campaign returns to give $1 million to schools

MILWAUKEE – Once again, U.S. Cellular is inviting communities to rally around their favorite schools 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 Jan. 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 of all sizes, public, private, urban and rural, K-12 have a chance to become a Calling All Communities champion. Last year, a high school in Wisconsin Rapids was among the winning schools.

“We are very proud of our school system, but we welcome any program that generates additional community and financial support for our kids and our schools,” said Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle. “I’m confident that the spirit of our communities is strong enough to bring another win home to Wisconsin.”

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 2008-09 to 28 percent for the 2009-2010 school year.

In Wisconsin, school districts large and small plan to trim expenses as the state budget cuts aid to schools by 2.7 percent, or $147 million. That puts educational and extracurricular programs in jeopardy, and requires tough choices by local leaders.

Calling All Communities can make a real difference. 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.

“Last summer was like Christmas around here with new textbooks, furniture and electrical upgrades,” said Joan Bond, principal of Assumption High School in Wisconsin Rapids. “We also created a scholarship in (U.S. Cellular CEO) Jack Rooney’s name to remind us each year how fortunate we were to win. This award will have lasting impacts on our school.”

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 Chris Rathsack, Director of Sales for Wisconsin. “We expect Wisconsin schools to run strong, competitive campaigns.”

Visit http://www.uscellular.com/callingallcommunities for official rules or to view videos from last year’s campaign.

About U.S. Cellular

The 9,000 associates of U.S. Cellular believe a wireless phone enhances people’s lives and a wireless company should be in the business of bringing people together. U.S. Cellular has a wide range of monthly plans, including those with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited free incoming calls and options to prepay. The company has a growing catalog of phones like the BlackBerry® Tour and Pearl Flip, and the touch-screen LG Tritan, which offer e-mail and Web access. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is the nation’s fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com .

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For more information, contact:

Don Klein

Public Relations Counsel


[email protected]

LaTrina Blair

U.S. Cellular


[email protected]