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The Choice Bus is Rolling to Austin-area High Schools

Equipped with a prison cell, this school bus is the nation's first mobile demo dedicated to reducing the dropout rate

Austin, Texas (February 18, 2013)

The Choice Bus is Rolling to Austin-area High Schools

FACT: Every 26 seconds across America, a student drops out of high school.

WHAT: Press Conference and Demonstration to kick off The Choice Bus making a stop at several Austin high schools. The Choice Bus is part of a larger, youth-led graduation pledge drive during the month of February called 26 Seconds.

WHERE: Eastside Memorial High School, 1012 Arthur Stiles, Austin, TX 78721. State Rep. Mark Strama will present. AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has been invited to present.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 19 at 10:00 a.m.

WHO: In addition to Eastside Memorial High School, The Choice Bus will be making stops at Fulmore Middle School, Stony Point High School (RRISD), and Kealing Middle School throughout the week of Feb. 19-22. Schools participating in the 26 Seconds Campaign include: Lanier High School, LBJ High School, Reagan High School, Crockett High School, Travis High School, and Eastside Memorial High School. Each school will have a rally, activities and award prizes to students participating.

WHY: To raise awareness of the dropout epidemic and engage students to commit to graduate, State Farm has partnered with Central Texas schools to hold youth-led graduation pledge drive challenges the month of February.

One of these pledge challenges includes The Choice Bus, the nation's first mobile experience dedicated to reducing the dropout rate. The Choice Bus is a powerful experience-based learning tool that travels the country giving students, teachers and families a hands-on look at the importance of education along with the likely consequences that await most high school dropouts – prison. It is one of three tools created by The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation to help reduce the dropout rate in the United States. Thanks to a partnership between State Farm and The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, the bus will visit students during their school pledge drives. This is our second year to bring The Choice Bus to Texas schools.

State Farm has worked with community leaders, education advocates, individual schools and school districts to motivate students to be more (BMOR) than a statistic through the 26 Seconds campaign. This Pledge Drive continues our commitment to keeping kids in school.

VISUALS:

Choice Bus Demonstration — This customized school bus features a full-scale replica of a prison cell in the back of the bus. High school students will go through the 25-minute Choice Bus experience, a program that has been so successful that demand from schools and communities has resulted in the creation of additional buses. The Choice Bus has been experienced by more than one million people in 19 states.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Contact

Patti Kelly
State Farm Public Affairs
Phone: (512) 492-5347


About The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the dropout rate. The Foundation was established in honor of Dr. Shelley Stewart's late mother, Mattie C. Stewart, in the summer of 2007 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Its primary corporate partner is o2ideas, Inc., a corporate communications and brand relations firm also based in Birmingham. The mission of the Foundation is to create tools and resources to help educators, community leaders and parents effectively address the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate. The Foundation also partners with America's Promise Alliance, Communities In Schools, the National Dropout Prevention Center, PepsiCo, Shelby County, State Farm and Verizon Wireless. For more information, visit www.mattiecstewart.org.

About State Farm®

State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.