Two area school districts eligible for Champions Grant Funding

CHARLOTTE , N.C. (Aug. 24, 2009) — Chandra and Jimmie Johnson announced a $150,000 commitment for K-12 education in the Muskogee and Tulsa, Okla. areas today.   The foundation has partnered with Lowe’s, Johnson’s primary sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and its Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program to offer a competitive grant opportunity to two local school districts in Chandra Johnson’s hometown. The Johnsons have also announced similar initiatives in Jimmie’s hometown of El Cajon, Calif., and in Charlotte, N.C., where the couple currently resides, bringing the total commitment to education to more than $500,000.

“I had such great teachers growing up in Muskogee and am so excited that we are able to give back in my hometown,” said Chandra Johnson, who attended Pershing Elementary School, Harris Jobe Elementary, West Middle School (now Ben Franklin Science Academy) and Muskogee High School.  “Education is a cause that Jimmie and I are dedicated to supporting and now is a vital time for education initiatives across the country.  I think it’s important to give teachers and students the best tools to succeed and hopefully these grants will provide some help to schools in and around Muskogee.”

Public K-12 programs or 501c(3) parent group associations in the Muskogee Public School District and Tulsa Public Schools may apply for a Champions Grant through the Jimmie Johnson Foundation website, www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.  The Champions Grants will range from $25,000-$100,000.  The grant application process closes on October 16.

“We are very grateful to the Johnsons for the opportunity they are offering our teachers through the grant program,” said Mike Garde, Superintendent of Muskogee Public Schools. “It is an exceptional person who offers to give back so much to his/her former school, and the Johnsons have proven themselves exceptional in many ways, their generosity being only one of them.”

Additional K-12 programs or 501c(3) parent group associations not included in these districts still may apply for a standard grant directly through the Toolbox for Education grant program atwww.toolboxforeducation.com.

“Through our Toolbox for Education grant program, Lowe’s recognizes parent-initiated efforts to enrich the lives of children in our communities,” said Larry D. Stone, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “By partnering with the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, we will be able to give extra support to the Charlotte community through Toolbox for Education grants during the upcoming school year. We are contributing to a cause that’s important to our customers and employees and helping build a stronger foundation for the children who will be tomorrow’s employees, homeowners and community leaders.”

About the Jimmie Johnson Foundation
Chandra and Jimmie Johnson launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in February 2006.  Johnson, the three-time reigning Sprint Cup champion, drives the No. 48 Lowe’s Impala SS in NASCAR’s top series.  The mission of the foundation is to assist children, families, and communities in need throughout the United States.  The foundation has committed more than $2 million to various charities.  For additional information on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, please visitjimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.

About Lowe’s Toolbox for Education®
Since its inception five years ago, has given more than $17.7 million to schools in the United States. This grant program provides parent groups and educators affiliated with K-12 public schools with financial tools to help improve their children’s schools. At a time when schools and community groups are struggling to make ends meet, in 2009 Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is focusing on basic, one-time project needs. Schools can apply for up to $5,000 grants. The fall 2009 application process is open until Oct. 16, 2009. To apply now, visit toolboxforeducation.com.

CONTACT:
Mary Barr, Jimmie Johnson Foundation
704.453.2897
mbarr@jjracinginc.com

Kristine Curley, GMR Marketing
816.679.5091
kcurley@gmrmarketing.com