Daimler Financial Services Forms Innovative Technology, Education Partnership with John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to Benefit Middle School Teachers and Students Across the United State

• Brand new Thomas Built bus will serve as mobile classroom and hands-on digital media production studio

• Students will learn to film and edit using new media digital technology

• Students’ films of their communities will create a web-based museum

• Teachers will learn how digital technology can help art education initiatives





Farmington Hills, Mich. – Daimler Financial Services Americas, LLC, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced an innovative education program that combines new media digital technology and the creativity of middle school students and their teachers.



The program, called “On Location: Spotlight on Your Community” has a goal of incorporating digital technology and the arts with the aim of having positive results on students and schools in underserved communities across the United States.



A customized Thomas Built bus, manufactured in High Point, N.C. by a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, a leading provider of school buses, will travel the country from January 2009 until June 2009, stopping in key pre-designated locations. The digital technology media bus will be outfitted with a working suite of laptops equipped with custom designed media creation tools.



The “On Location” initiative will encourage students to use the digital media to express themselves artistically against the backdrop of their communities, schools and classmates. The school’s finished creative product will go on a website so that students from all over the country can view the digital creations of their peers.



“As a company with a long history of innovation and cutting-edge technology, we are delighted to partner with the Kennedy Center to bring this educational program to students, teachers and communities that otherwise may not get this opportunity,” said Richard Howard, Vice President of Daimer Truck Financial, a business unit of Daimler Financial Services.





Middle school teachers will receive instruction on how to use the technology and the studio tools from a Digital Media Professional provided by the Kennedy Center. Students will learn the creation and telling of stories from a Kennedy Center theater professional. The goal is for students to acquire skills in critical thinking, cultural awareness and to connect their learning to real world issues and events.



“The Kennedy Center is pleased to team up with Daimler Financial Services for what promises to valuable experience for 10 schools across the country,” said Darrell Ayers, Vice President of Education. “This program will offer students a chance to learn a new skill set, and encourage students to recognize and appreciate the art taking place in their own backyard.”



The application deadline is November 5, 2008. All applicants will be notified no later than December 2, 2008, about selection. The applications will be reviewed for strength of commitment to the project, proposed video content, and ability to provide logistical support for the program. To download the application, or for more information, please visit www.onlocationproject.org



About Daimler Financial Services Americas (DCFS USA LLC)

Daimler Financial Services Americas (DCFS USA LLC), headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich., provides brand-specific financing for Mercedes-Benz automotive dealers’ inventories and their retail customers, and conducts business in the United States luxury car market as Mercedes-Benz Financial. In the U.S. trucking industry, Daimler Financial Services Americas conducts business as Daimler Truck Financial and finances Daimler commercial vehicles branded Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star for dealers and their customers in the fleet, vocational, municipal and owner/operator segments. Daimler Financial Services Americas serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, and has approximately 1,600 employees. Daimler Financial Services Americas is a company of the Daimler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, which operates in 40 countries with an employee base of close to 6,800. Daimler Financial Services is one of the leading financial services organizations worldwide. For more information visit www.daimlerfinancialservices.com/na



About The Kennedy Center Education Department

Since its establishment in 1972, the Kennedy Center’s Education Department believes the inclusion of the performing arts in a broad-based curriculum improves the quality of a child’s educational experience. The Kennedy Center’s Education Department is committed to its leadership role in promoting higher standards on national performing arts education programs and policy.



About Thomas Built Buses

Thomas Built Buses (www.thomasbus.com) is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, with more than one-third of the market. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line in 1936, the company has focused on delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America. Thomas Built Buses, Inc. is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer on the continent and a leading manufacturer of class 3-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.

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