FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Daimler Financial Services Americas and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts recently 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 throughout the United States.

A customized Thomas Built Bus, a leading provider of school buses manufactured by Daimler Trucks North America in High Point, N.C., 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 Web site 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 Daimler 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," he continued.

The application deadline is Nov. 5. All applicants will be notified no later than Dec. 2, 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, visit