U.S. business have contributed an estimated $2.4 billion and 109 million volunteer hours to public schools, and a new awards program will honor those efforts. The Council for Corporate and School Partnerships will honor six partnership programs next year, giving each $10,000 for the school to support the partnership. The Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, Washington, D.C., was founded by The Coca-Cola Co. in 2001 to identify, create, recognize and support exemplary partnerships between businesses and schools. "Today's business partnerships are light years ahead of what you might have seen two or three decades ago, when supporting schools meant writing a check for a scoreboard or placing an ad in the school newspaper," says former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, chairman of the council. Partnerships involving kindergarten through 12th grade public schools and/or school districts and business are eligible to participate in the awards program. Applications are due Jan. 29, 2004, and are available at www.corpschoolpartners.org.