The COVID-19 pandemic created a tumultuous landscape in education for students and teachers who juggled the ever-changing in-person, remote and hybrid learning models.

These unexpected barriers led UScellular to commit $100,000 to DonorsChoose to support teachers and their students this summer to help them prepare for the next school year. DonorsChoose is a non-profit organization that connects public school teachers with interested donors who want to support classroom projects.

In May 2021, UScellular, surveyed parents[1] regarding their child(ren)’s learning during the pandemic. The results showed:

- Half of parents think remote learning negatively impacted their child’s learning

- 1 in 4 parents feel their child needs tutoring over the summer

- Nearly 50% of parents would be interested in extra assistance for their child.

“Parents and youth have experienced tremendous effects on education as a result of the pandemic,” said Deirdre Drake, executive vice president and chief people officer at UScellular. “By teaming up with DonorsChoose, we’re addressing gaps in STEM education and helping educators receive vital funding to prepare youth for the careers of today and the future.”

Teachers are able to request funding for their classroom projects by visiting DonorsChoose.org/teachers. While funds last, UScellular will provide a 1:1 funding match for classroom projects that are within the regions that UScellular serves, $1,000 or less and have a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) focus. To provide better accessibility and equity to STEM learning, classrooms that receive UScellular funding will be in communities where 90% or more of the students are from low-income households. The $100,000 donation from UScellular will take place this summer to help teachers prepare for the return of students to classrooms in the fall, with 10% of the funding going towards projects that directly address summer school needs. According to a recent DonorsChoose survey, technology materials are in highest demand for both in-person and remote instruction.

“Our company cares passionately about our local communities,” continued Drake. “It’s through organizations like DonorsChoose that we’re able to build better communities and support educators who are critical to the success of youth across the country.”

UScellular has a longstanding commitment to supporting its local communities through donations and volunteerism. Since 2009, the company has donated more than $20.7 million along with countless experiences and technology items to nonprofit organizations across the country. For more information about UScellular’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, please go to https://www.uscellular.com/get-to-know-us/community-outreach.

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