Lexus teams with Scholastic to promote green education

TORRANCE, CA: Lexus has launched an educational program and contest designed to get middle- and high-school students actively involved in improving the planet.

TORRANCE, CA: Lexus has launched an educational program and contest designed to get middle- and high-school students actively involved in improving the planet.

Developed in partnership with Scholastic and assisted by Ferris Communications, the Lexus Environmental Challenge provides teachers with environmentally themed lesson plans to integrate into class curriculums, said Nancy Hubbell, Lexus prestige communications manager.

But the effort urges teachers to “take lesson plans to the next step,” Hubbell said, and help students participate in its complementary “challenge” element.

For that, student teams are tasked with implementing environmental sustainability “action plans” to positively impact their own communities. Teams responsible for developing the most effective plans will share more than $1 million in scholarships.

Since its launch in September, more than 200 teens have signed up to participate, Hubbell said. The Challenge runs through Earth Day (April 22) 2008.

As well as inspiring students to take action, the Challenge is “a unique way to appeal to a variety of audiences,” Hubbell said. “It resonates with parents, kids, Lexus dealers, and with the environmental community.”

PR efforts revolve around teacher-direct communication, said Ferris Communications president Holly Ferris.

Campaign components include outreach to print and online publications targeting middle- and high-school educators. The automaker also sent e-mail blasts to thousands of science and social studies teachers, directing them to the Challenge Web site, www.scholastic.com/lexus.

With three hybrid vehicles on the road, Lexus has already established an eco-friendly position within the luxury automotive market.

Even so, the Challenge is “a great way to show what we're doing,” Hubbell said. “It's another way of showcasing Lexus' commitment to environment.”


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