A lime-green alien invasion, for a very good cause

​By Allison Stowe
Phillips 66 Corporate Communications

A lime-green alien is invading Phillips 66's social media channels!    

Orbit, the mischievous Houston Astros mascot, took over the company’s Instagram Stories on Thursday to chronicle his first day of school at Houston’s Hearne Elementary School. It’s all in good fun, and for a good cause: Phillips 66 lent its megaphone to Orbit to promote the power of reading.

He held an Orbit Reading Rally Show at Hearne, where he was greeted with cheers, hugs and high-fives. The rallies, a joint program between Phillips 66, the Astros and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, are designed to educate students on the importance of reading 20 minutes a day.

"Orbit brought a lot of fun and excitement to what's already an exciting day," said Hearne Elementary Principal Johanna Sanchez. "He's a beloved character in Houston and was able to channel the kids’ energy and put the focus where it needs to be — on unlocking the power of reading."

Phillips 66 has long supported childhood literacy, with the majority of its philanthropic efforts going toward education. Research indicates that children who do not read on level by the end of third grade have only a one in eight chance of catching up and are four times more likely to drop out of school.

“The numbers are striking in our headquarters city of Houston, where 60% of area children entering kindergarten each year lack requisite reading skills,” said Phillips 66 Corporate Sponsorship Analyst Sara Hayes. “So by leveraging our partnership with the Astros and using Orbit, we’re able to reach a larger audience to get out this important message.”

Orbit has a lively social media presence, with 123,500 followers across his channels.

Be sure to follow the Phillips 66 Instagram account to check out Orbit’s activities there. You can also see a 15-second version on Facebook and Twitter.