Craig Qwest Communications customers in Moffat County who switch to automatic and electronic billing can give back to public schools of their choice.
The company recently launched a new program for its automatic and electronic bill paying customers. The program will donate an amount equivalent to 1 percent of the customer's monthly bills to a public school district of his or her choice, said Chuck Ward, president of Qwest operations in Colorado.
The schools will use the donations to promote technology use in the classrooms, Qwest's Web site reported.
Donations will come from the company's foundation, an independently funded account.
The program is open solely for residential customers who pay their bills using paperless billing or automatic withdrawal.
"Our foundation focuses on education," Ward said, adding that the company recently chose to focus its philanthropic efforts on one area.
Getting students interested in modern technology's practical applications was one motivation behind the program, Ward said.
"Let's get kids into technology," he said. "It's such a big part of our lives."
The program also acts as an incentive for Colorado Qwest customers to switch to automatic and electronic billing, Ward said - a payment method he believes is "more timely" than bills delivered through the postal system.
Jennifer Barton, Qwest media relations manager, said she could not release the number of Moffat County residents who could be eligible for the program.
However, she estimated that the customer's average bill is $55 a month and Moffat County contains about 3,750 households.
If a quarter of those households had Qwest service and paid their bills either online or through automatic withdrawal, 1 percent of their combined annual bills would generate about $6,192 annually - funds which residents could donate to the Moffat County school district, if they so choose.
Marlene Knez, Moffat County School District technology director, said she believes the program could help Moffat County schools, based on what she knows about the program.
"The evidence supports that 21st century information and communication tools positively influence student learning processes and outcomes," she said.
Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org