U.S. Cellular to reward teachers with $1 million

U.S. Cellular is giving away another $1 million to help teachers across the country ease classroom needs.

For the second year, the phone carrier is in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, and is encouraging East Tennessee teachers to register on the site now and throughout the summer.

Then, when the teachers return this fall, they can post their classroom projects for potential funding. DonorsChoose.org is a philanthropic Web site that helps public school teachers find money for classroom projects that exceed their limited budgets.

Last year U.S. Cellular funded more than $50,000 worth of classroom projects in East Tennessee. Blount County and Maryville teachers received more than $12,600 in funding through the 2009 campaign, including more than $10,500 to Heritage High School.

“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.”

U.S. Cellular plans to fund $1 million in posted projects in the areas where it does business during September and October. During last year’s “Calling All Teachers” campaign, U.S. Cellular funded more than 2,000 classroom projects nationwide, benefitting nearly 175,000 students. In February 2009, Heritage High School received $100,000 through U.S. Cellular’s “Calling All Communities” campaign.

For the past two years, U.S. Cellular has invited communities to rally around their favorite school to share $1 million in its “Calling All Communities” campaign. Ten schools across the country with the most votes each won $100,000 to use in any way they chose. Schools of all sizes, public, private, urban and rural, K- 12 participated for a chance to become a “Calling All Communities” champion. The program will return in the fall of 2010.

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