July 28, 2008

Sprint Ahead for Education Provides Funding to Support Innovative Character-Education Programs across the United States.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jul 28, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sprint (NYSE: S) announced the recipients for the Sprint Ahead for Education grant program. Sprint Ahead for Education is a brand-new program that supports innovative character-education initiatives through funding of K-12 public schools and school districts. A total of 19 school districts received up to $25,000 in grant funds, and 45 public schools received funding up to $5,000. In total, the Sprint Foundation awarded more than $607,000 in grant funding for this program. School and school districts that were awarded grant funding include:

  • The Bay-Waveland School District in Bay St. Louis, Miss., received a $10,000 district grant for a comprehensive positive-behavior support program. Nearly every school in the district was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, and since that time, the district has seen an increase in student behavior problems; the new program will be put in place to combat that. All classroom teachers will receive specialized training and will implement targeted lesson plans that teach and reinforce positive behavior traits and characteristics.
  • The Boston Public School System in Boston, Mass., was awarded a $25,000 district grant to put in place a "Kid to Kid" mentoring program that will train 80 incoming high-school freshmen to be mentors to elementary-school children from three Boston elementary schools. The goal of this program is to help both the high-school trainers and elementary-school students to excel academically while also learning positive behavior traits.
  • Desert Hot Springs High School in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., received a $5,000 school grant to launch a peer-counseling and conflict-mediation program that will train 30 students to become peer mediators in an effort to reduce the number of fights and other behavior infractions at the school.
  • Macopin Middle School in West Milford, N.J., was awarded a $5,000 school grant to provide extensive bullying-prevention training to classroom teachers. Additionally, because bullying is more prevalent during "free time," the grant will also be used to train cafeteria workers and custodians in an effort to reduce the incidence of bullying that occurs at the middle school.
  • Menasha High School in Appleton, Wis., received a $5,000 school grant to purchase a Web-based volunteer application that will allow students to go online to find volunteer opportunities and post comments and reflections about their community-service efforts. Teachers will use this new software to review the students’ online posting and track their students’ volunteer hours in an overall effort to create a school culture based on service learning and community involvement.

"Sprint is committed to helping educators develop the right character-education initiatives for their student population," said Debby Ballard, director of Community Relations for Sprint. "The Sprint Ahead for Education program allows teachers and administrators to implement unique and innovative programs that will have a profoundly positive impact on their students."

"The need for quality character education in America’s schools has never been more important than it is today," said Joseph W. Mazzola, executive director, The Character Education Partnership. "Sprint understands this. They have made a long-term commitment to helping make a difference in communities through their generous grant program to support character education in schools."

"Schools today are struggling to find ways to promote both academic learning and social and moral development," said Dr. Marvin Berkowitz, Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education, the University of Missouri-St Louis and co-director of the Center for Character and Citizenship. "Effective character education produces both."

A full list of schools and school districts that received Sprint Ahead for Education grant funding is available at:


About the Sprint Foundation

Since its establishment in 1989, the Sprint Foundation has provided nearly $100 million to community organizations across the country with a special emphasis on those supporting K-12 education, positive youth development, arts and culture outreach, school safety and Internet safety. Through direct grants and a robust matching-gifts program for employees and retirees, the Sprint Foundation creatively and thoughtfully delivers Sprint’s commitment to championing the communities where Sprint customers and employees live.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies including serving nearly 53 million customers at the end of the first quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

SOURCE: Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel Alexander Hahn, 703-433-3062 Alex.m.hahn@sprint.com