Letter to the Editor

Help available for Iowa public schools

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Iowa's school teachers are constantly formulating new and exciting ways to engage children in the classroom and often with limited funds. A recent Gallup poll found that 32 percent of parents say their child's school is having financial difficulties and having to make major spending cuts.

In order to show our appreciation for educators, U.S. Cellular is once again teaming with DonorsChoose.org to donate $1 million toward classroom projects through our Calling All Teachers campaign.

Calling All Teachers provides funding for creative and meaningful classroom projects submitted by public school teachers. Since May, more than 4,300 public school teachers across the country, including 100-plus here in Iowa, have already signed up as "U.S. Cellular Teachers" on DonorsChoose.org, a philanthropic website that helps public school teachers find money for classroom projects.

The Calling All Teachers campaign can provide classrooms with almost any kind of material an educator requests. Last year, the campaign provided everything from basic materials, such as pencils and note cards, to larger classroom accessories, such as projectors, whiteboards and bookshelves.

In 2009, U.S. Cellular funded more than 2,000 classroom projects that benefited nearly 175,000 students nationwide. Due to the overwhelming response to the campaign, the company decided to increase its funding that year to $1.1 million in order to fund all of the projects in the areas where it does business. Iowa teachers received more than $75,000 to pay for 128 classroom projects.

Right now, teachers can return to DonorsChoose.org and post their classroom projects for funding consideration. The final day to submit entries is Sept. 15. Funding will be distributed in late September and October for projects that are selected.

We strongly encourage all Iowa public school teachers to register as "U.S. Cellular Teachers" on DonorsChoose.org, so they have an opportunity to start the school year off in a way that's both exciting and engaging for students.

Don Cochran

Iowa Director of Sales

U.S. Cellular