April 26, 2011 - AMERICAN FORESTS and our long-time partner Chegg, the online textbook rental company, hosted a ceremonial tree planting to mark the 31st anniversary of the US Department of Education at the Department’s Washington, DC, headquarters. To commemorate the event, Chegg and AMERICAN FORESTS planted a live oak, the tree represented on the Department’s official seal.

The Texas live oak arrived in Washington, DC, courtesy of Jose Rodriguez, Teacher Ambassador from Knowles Elementary School in Cedar Park, Texas. The official tree of the US Department of Education will be a living symbol of the Department’s mission to promote student achievement and foster educational excellence. Its Texas origins honor President Lyndon Baines Johnson, for whom the Department’s building is named. This planting also represents the 5 millionth tree planted in partnership between Chegg and AMERICAN FORESTS.

The ceremony began with an introduction from AMERICAN FORESTS’ CEO Scott Steen, who gave an overview of the many benefits trees provide, and discussed AMERICAN FORESTS’ commitment to improving our environment through education and community outreach. Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, was on hand to address the EPA’s commitment to nurturing kids and the environment through education. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, examined how healthy trees provide living laboratories to instill an on-going curiosity in students.

Special guest Lynda Johnson Robb, RIF Chairman Emerita and daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, attended to show her support for the Department of Education, AMERICAN FORESTS and our partners, and our combined efforts to educate the community about the importance of caring for and improving our environment.

The ceremony concluded with remarks from Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg, and Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education. Mr. Duncan stressed how important it is for students to “learn to read, learn to love trees, and learn to care for the environment.”

Other special guests included Susan Sarfati, member of AMERICAN FORESTS’ Board of Directors and CEO of High Performance Strategies, and fifth grade students from Amidon Elementary School, both located in Washington, DC.

To read more about AMERICAN FORESTS’ partnership with Chegg, visit chegg.com/ecofriendly.