10/11/12 — County schools battle for top spots in Calling All Communities campaign

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County schools battle for top spots in Calling All Communities campaign

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 11, 2012 1:46 PM

With less than two weeks to go in the Calling All Communities campaign, Spring Creek Elementary School is gunning for first place.

The school led the pack out of the gate for the Top 100 schools in the nationwide contest sponsored by U.S. Cellular. It dropped into second place two weeks ago.

"The first two weeks we were in first place," said Gail Richards, Spring Creek principal. "We want to be No. 1 and we're doing all kinds of things -- we want to win!"

The school has put up bulletin boards announcing the contest and reminding students and staff to get the word out. They have also held pie-throwing contests, teacher breakfasts and lunch events, all in an effort to promote the contest and keep momentum and school spirit at a fever pitch.

Officials with the company reported nearly 25,000 votes were cast last week and said the number of participating schools now exceeds 1,000. The top 18 schools with the most votes will win a share of $1 million to spend any way they choose. The school with the most votes will receive $150,000, while the remaining 17 will each receive $50,000.

Wayne County Public Schools has five schools in the Top 100. The campaign kicked off Sept. 14 and runs through Oct. 21.

The latest standings were released late Tuesday.

Norwayne Middle is currently in 17th place, down from 13th and School Street Elementary moved up one, from 19th to 18th place. Northwest Elementary School showed a sharp rise, moving from 79th place to 60th, while Eastern Wayne Elementary moved from 86th to 70th place.

The community has made a strong showing in the contest since it was introduced in 2008. In 2009, Brogden Primary School received $100,000, followed by Wayne Country Day School the next year being awarded $100,000. Last year, four local schools claimed $50,000 each -- Fremont STARS, North Drive and Tommy's Road elementary schools and Wayne Christian School.

With school budgets being where they are, the funding incentive is definitely at the forefront of everyone's minds, said Mrs. Richards, who already has plans for any money her school might receive.

"Technology is our goal," she said. "We want to get some additional mimeo boards or Promethean boards, along with some tablets for the children. We would like to have some laptops and some additional computers, but (the money's) not going to go but so far.

"Our first goal is to get interactive boards for the classrooms."

The winning schools will be announced in November. Official rules and a complete list of contenders can be found at uscellular.com/callingallcommunities.