Thomas Built Buses Supports Local School

Contact:  tracy.darchini@daimler.com

Assistance helps school to become highest-performing Title 1 school in state

High Point, N.C. – Feb. 26, 2014 – Over the past three years, Thomas Built Buses has been investing, time, money and resources in Oak Hill Elementary, a school ranked among the lowest 5% in the state of North Carolina in 2010. Through this sponsorship of time and money, Thomas Built Buses has helped the school to become the highest performing Title 1 school in the state and a model for other schools across the nation.

Oak Hill Elementary School, located less than a mile from the Thomas Built Buses headquarters, is in one of the poorest economic neighborhoods of High Point, NC.  99 percent of the students enrolled at the school are eligible for free or reduced lunch; many of the children come from single parent homes; and 54 percent of the children speak a language other than English for their primary language. In total, 18 different languages are spoken at the school.

In 2010, the Guilford County Public School Board applied for a Federal School Improvement Grant and started looking for community and corporate partners to invest in Oak Hill for the long-term. The school was granted $2.8 million over a period of three years, and they also landed Thomas Built Buses as a primary sponsor, who has “adopted” Oak Hill as their primary volunteer program.

“The commitment of the people at Thomas Built Buses has been critical to our continued success,” explains Ashton Clemmons, principal of Oak Hill Elementary. “They have become an anchor sponsor for Oak Hill and have provided funding, and more importantly, volunteers who assist in the development and execution of programs aligned with the goals of our school. Thomas Built Buses has been a part of our turnaround from the start by providing funds and countless volunteer hours in unique programs including creation of a basketball league, literacy lunch, and facility improvement initiatives.”

Following Thomas’ lead, other companies and organizations have contributed to help sustain the growth at the school – now ranked as the highest performing Title 1 school in North Carolina for the 2012-2013 school year. The school has also been nominated a second time for this award for the current school year. The school has gained national recognition for its success, and other schools within the state and country have come to learn from the experience at Oak Hill.

“Thomas Built Buses has made a conscious effort to enter into a long-term partnership with Oak Hill Elementary,” explains Kelley Platt, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “We have a commitment to our community, and we are so proud to have been a part of Oak Hill Elementary’s success. Our staff members love the volunteer opportunities that the school provides, and we cannot wait to see what is in store for the school and its students in the coming years.”

This past week, on February 21, the American School Bus Council hosted their annual Love the Bus event at Oak Hill Elementary. Along with key dignitaries such as U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Director of the U.S. Department of Education Office of School Improvement Grants Carlas McCauley, Thomas Built Buses key executives, President and CEO Kelley Platt and Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service Ken Hedgecock, were in attendance to again support and cheer on the school that has come so far.

About Thomas Built Buses
Founded in 1916, Thomas Built Buses is a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line, the company has been committed to delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America. Learn more at www.thomasbus.com or at http://www.facebook.com/thomasbuiltbuses.

Thomas Built Buses, Inc., headquartered in High Point, N.C., is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 4-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.

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