Janesville65°

Monroe Elementary School calling for help in contest

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AMES, ANN MARIE
September 22, 2012

— Monroe Elementary School Principal Lori Burns is not up for shaving her head or dying her hair blue.

But she has made a different promise to her students.

How will she get through the night on the roof of the school? Will she sleep in a tent? What if it snows?

Burns has promised to spend the night on the Monroe roof if the school wins a slice of $1 million in prizes in U.S. Cellular's Calling All Communities Sweepstakes. In a little more than four weeks, the school with the most votes will earn $150,000. The next 17 high-scoring schools will get $50,000, according to a news release from U.S. Cellular.

Winning schools may use the money however they want to make improvements for students. Monroe wants to make every classroom a 21st century learning classroom, Burns said.

The priority purchase would be SMART Boards for every room. Those would help a lot of students at once, Burns said. Remaining money would be spent for iPads and laptops, in that order of priority, Burns said.

Even with $150,000, the school couldn't provide laptops for every student, but they could make a dent, she said.

Monroe doesn't qualify for some kinds of federal aid other schools in the district can get. If Monroe earns the contest money, it could free up money for other schools in the district, Burns said.

The key to winning is getting support from the whole community, Burns said.

"We could win if Janesville thinks, 'We don't want to do this just for Monroe kids,'" Burns said. "We want to do this for Janesville kids."



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