FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Patty Lavelle
National Arbor Day Foundation
Fifth-grader Kaileen Pritchard award-winning portrait of the rainforest
depicts lush plants, exotic animals and velvety trees
The National Arbor Day Foundation is pleased to announce that 11-year-old Kaileen Pritchard, a student in Julia Aber’s fifth-grade class at Village Christian Academy in Fayetteville, North Carolina., is the winner of the 2007 Arbor Day National Poster Contest, sponsored by Toyota. Butterflies, wild cats and a monkey adorn the tranquil scene of lush plants and thick green trees that wowed the judges to win the 16th annual contest.
Kaileen will be honored at the 135th National Arbor Day Celebration in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 27, 2007 beginning at 9:30 am EDT at Wilkinson Elementary. The event will include remarks from dignitaries, local officials, representatives from The National Arbor Day Foundation, and Toyota executives, about the importance of trees in our country. There will also be a tree planting, book reading and Arbor Day-related activities for the children.
The contest, sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, called for students to create a poster reflecting the theme “Trees are Terrific … and forests are too!” The annual contest aims to educate children about Arbor Day and the important benefits of trees, while inspiring them to learn about the value of forests as ecosystems and encouraging environmental stewardship. As part of its commitment to enhancing environmental literacy and developing conservation leaders of tomorrow, Toyota has supported the education and tree planting efforts of The National Arbor Day Foundation since 2001, and has invested more than $2 million in Arbor Day programs.
More than 75,000 fifth-grade classrooms from across the country participated in this year’s contest. Kaileen competed at the state level against students from 27 schools throughout North Carolina. Her poster then competed against the winners from 44 other states.
“Toyota is very proud of Kaileen for demonstrating her commitment to creating a cleaner, greener and healthier world,” said Patricia Pineda, group vice president, legal, philanthropy and administration at Toyota Motor North America. “Through the Arbor Day National Poster Contest, thousands of students are learning how to be our world’s conservation leaders of tomorrow.”
Kaileen, her parents, Melissa and Keith, and Mrs. Aber will receive an expense-paid trip to Nebraska City, Nebraska, birthplace of Arbor Day, where they will stay at Lied Lodge & Conference Center during National Arbor Day Awards Weekend, June 1-3. In addition, Kaileen will receive a $1,000 savings bond, a lifetime membership in The National Arbor Day Foundation and a framed color copy of her winning poster. Mrs. Aber also receives $200 for classroom materials.
The second place state winner is Paige Fourkiller from Maryetta School in Bunch, Oklahoma. Logan Helfrich, from Whitehall Coplay Middle School in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, was awarded third place. The second place winner received a $500 savings bond, and her teacher receives $100. The third place winner receives a $250 savings bond and his teacher receives $50. All three winners will have trees planted in their honor.
As the state winner, Kaileen received a $250 savings bond sponsored by the North Carolina Forestry Association and gifts from Toyota and The National Arbor Day Foundation. Kaileen’s winning poster will be displayed at the North Carolina Forest Service’s central office in Raleigh. Ms. Aber will receive $200 from Duke Energy and a framed copy of the poster.
The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization with a mission of inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. Visit www.arborday.org for online learning opportunities and educational materials, including lesson plans that correlate with National Science Standards.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and will operate 15 manufacturing plants in North America by 2010. There are more than 1,700 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in 2006. Toyota directly employs over 41,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18.6 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals more than $28.5 billion. According to a 2005 Center for Automotive Research study, Toyota, along with its dealers and suppliers, has generated nearly 400,000 U.S. jobs, including jobs created through spending by direct, dealer and suppliers employees. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Media representatives can visit www.arborday.org to learn more about all of the Foundation’s educational efforts, including the poster contest. To schedule an interview with Kaileen Pritchard or to request additional information, please contact Patty Lavelle at 402-523-6403.