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Mercury Villager

Lincoln Mercury Funds to
Benefit California Schools

Sacramento:  Lincoln Mercury announced its California "Lincoln Mercury Tools for Achievement" program designed to generate an estimated $1 million for the state's public and private elementary schools.

The program also will provide environmental education materials to every elementary school in the state. The program began February 8, 1999 and runs through December 31, 1999.

"Lincoln Mercury Tools for Achievement is an excellent example of private industry coming together with public education to support and improve the education of our children," said General Davie, superintendent of Sacramento's San Juan Unified School District and vice president of the Association of California School Administrators. "We applaud Lincoln Mercury for taking this important step."

Speaking at Sierra Oaks Elementary School, Tom Mattia, Lincoln Mercury's vice president of public affairs said the program is the company's "pioneering effort to have a direct impact on improving California's educational system."

"When the parent or guardian of a participating school (K-6) student in California purchases or leases a new 1999 Lincoln or Mercury vehicle, Lincoln Mercury will send that student's school a $250 check," Mattia said. "It's our way of participating in the communities of our new California home."

Under the program, when the parent or guardian purchases or leases a new vehicle, the customer calls a toll-free number to report the sale and to register for the donation. Once the sale or lease is validated, the parent or guardian identifies the child's school. When the school and the child's enrollment are validated, a $250 check is mailed directly to the school (validation may require parental authorization where necessary). A letter notifies the parent or guardian that the donation has been made. Checks will be distributed monthly.

The program does not end there, however. More than 8,000 elementary schools in the state also will receive educational videotapes and print materials with an environmental focus. The 20-minute videotapes highlight the accomplishments and contributions of various environmentalists and serve to salute passionate and independent-thinking people.

There will be two versions of the Lincoln Mercury Tools for Achievement teaching kit, one for early elementary and another for upper-level elementary grades. The goal of the material is to creatively reinforce in the students the importance of having confidence in themselves and their ideas--themes important in the development of any child.

"The Lincoln Mercury Tools for Achievement program undertaken by Lincoln Mercury is exactly the kind of public-private partnership the California Chamber of Commerce has advocated for years," said Fred Main, California Chamber of Commerce senior vice president and general counsel. "Lincoln Mercury's program demonstrates more than just good corporate citizenship, it represents a commitment to California. In this case, the primary beneficiaries are one of California's most important resources: its children. I encourage other businesses to follow this example and look for creative new ways to contribute," said Main.

The educational materials are being prepared by Jordan Education Media, a leading in-school communications firm.

Lincoln Mercury will promote awareness and participation in the program through PTA's, parents, teachers, school administrators, school boards, educational trade associations and Lincoln Mercury dealers.

"This is about our customers. We want to help families achieve what is one of their most important goals - the best possible education for their children," Mattia said. "We have chosen elementary education because we believe this is where the impact will be the greatest, early in the educational process."

Lincoln Mercury relocated to Irvine, California from Dearborn, Michigan in July of 1998. It markets the full line of Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks. By Bob Tarlton AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

 Lincoln Mercury Home Page

Column Name:  Lincoln Mercury Funds to Benefit California Schools
Writer:  Bob Tarlton
Byline:   AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Word Count:   600
Photo Caption:  '99 Mercury Villager
Photo Credits:   Lincoln Mercury Public Relations
Series #:   1999 - 11



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