The program officially starts in September, but U-S Cellular officials are urging parents and supporters to get their school’s campaign organized over the summer. 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.
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 Many winning schools outfitted their classrooms with new computers, improved outdated infrastructure and renovated gymnasiums, kitchens and science labs.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.