FORT WORTH, Texas (August 31, 2012) – Texas Motor Speedway’s “Speeding To Read” educational program is speeding to expansion.
A year after the NASCAR-themed, incentive-laden pilot reading program debuted with Clara Love Elementary in nearby Justin, Texas Motor Speedway announced Friday that “Speeding To Read” will expand to three Northwest ISD schools and reach more than 1,500 students for the 2012-13 school year.
The entire student bodies and faculty from Clara Love, Justin and W.R. Hatfield elementary schools were on hand at Northwest High School’s football stadium as Texas Motor Speedway announced the expansion of the program and some new incentives for the students and faculty. The announcement was made by Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Media Relations Mike Zizzo and he was joined by NWISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Edward Chevallier, principals Julie Nerby of Clara Love, Cathy Sager of Hatfield and Lisa Ransleben of Justin, and more than 1,500 kindergarten through fifth-grade students.
“The first-year success of ‘Speeding To Read’ with Clara Love exceeded our expectations, ranging from the children truly embracing the concept to the academic impact it made in terms of reading,” Zizzo said. “We’re extremely pleased to have Hatfield and Justin join Clara Love for some three-wide competition and have the ability to reach more than 1,500 students with this reading program. We also added some new partners to enhance our incentives for not only the students, but the schools and faculty as well. We’re looking forward to another tremendous year.”
To officially kick off the start of the program at the announcement, every student received a “Speeding To Read” t-shirt compliments of Toyota of Fort Worth and Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas and a pack of NASCAR trading cards courtesy of Press Pass, Inc. while “Score A Goal In The Classroom” donated 100 books to each school’s library. Each school also was decorated with Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR-themed banners, provided street signs featuring the names of the biggest stars in NASCAR to hang in the hallways and a custom-designed race track to chart the competition throughout the year.
“Clara Love Elementary is ready to start our engines for a new year of ‘Speeding To Read’ with Texas Motor Speedway,” Nerby said. “Last year was a tremendous success with our kids reading more than 83,000 books. The ‘Speeding To Read’ program promotes reading, which leads to higher levels of academic success. Our classrooms cheered as their cars rounded each turn and a visit from (NASCAR superstar) Jimmie Johnson caused an explosion at our April Turn 4 assembly. Watch out Hatfield and Justin Elementary – Clara Love is poised for a victory in our upcoming Texan 500.”
“Speeding To Read” is a reading program created by Texas Motor Speedway to encourage elementary school students to read more frequently during the school year. Last year, the 600-plus Clara Love Elementary School student body read more than 83,000 books and the intra-school competition was split into two grade divisions (K-2nd and 3rd-5th). Champion classrooms and individuals were crowned in both divisions and they earned a visit by five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, tickets to the April’s Samsung Mobile 500 race and a gift bag to go along with their championship trophies.
This year’s competition will have the three schools go head to head to determine the “Speeding To Read” champions in the two divisions as well as the top individual readers. The competition will be split into four quarters – or four turns like a speedway – with the students and schools being rewarded at each turn. Turn 1 coincides with the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup heating up in early October; Turn 2 with the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR race week at Texas Motor Speedway in November; Turn 3 with the start of the new NASCAR season in February; and Turn 4 (crowning of the champions) with the Texas 500 NASCAR race week in April at Texas Motor Speedway. The three-school race to the “Speeding To Read” championship will be known as the Texan 500.
“The students at Justin Elementary are ‘revving up’ to read this year,” Ransleben said. “We heard about the record-breaking amount of books that were read at Clara Love Elementary and can’t wait to join the race. Thanks to Texas Motor Speedway, our students will have the motivation to challenge themselves as readers in this competition.”
“We are thrilled to be in partnership with Texas Motor Speedway,” Sager said. “The reading program they had in place at Clara Love Elementary last year was very successful and we are looking forward to being a part of that success with our students. I believe the competition among the three schools – Hatfield, Clara Love and Justin – will give an added challenge for our students to read even more books. ‘Let’s go reading, boys!’’’
A major new incentive to the program will assist in the growth of the libraries at all three schools as well as the personal book collections of the leading individuals. “Score A Goal In The Classroom” is generously donating up to 4,000 new and used books to the “Speeding To Read” program to allot throughout the competition.
For the first three turns, the school that is leading in a division (K-2 or 3-5) receives 100 books for their library, the students in the two division-leading classrooms receive a book each for their personal home library and the top divisional individual readers from each school receive two books for their own collection.
During the Turn 4 crowning of the champions in April, 2,200 books will be distributed with the winning school in each division receiving 500 books for their respective libraries. The runner-up school earns 250 and third place receives 125. The overall individual reading champions from each division will receive 10 books for their own collection, the individual reading champs at the other schools will earn five and the students in the championship-winning classrooms will get four books each.
The top classrooms and individuals also will receive frontstretch tickets to the Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2013, as part of their gift package. Texas Motor Speedway also will reward the top classrooms and individuals at each turn as well as present a perpetual trophy to the school leading at each turn and eventually to the champions to showcase.
The school crowned as the “Speeding To Read” champions in April also will be rewarded with a pizza party compliments of Domino’s Pizza for the entire student body and faculty to celebrate their accomplishment.
Texas Motor Speedway also will be rewarding the principals and faculty this year. The principal from the winning school will receive dinner for two and a spa treatment at The Speedway Club of Texas Motor Speedway. The Speedway Club also will provide a choice of dinner for two or spa treatment to the teachers of the winning K-2 and 3-5 classrooms.
“The principals and teachers play such a vital role in motivating the students to excel in this reading program,” Zizzo said. “They are so important in driving this program and making it successful that we felt it would be ideal to add some additional incentives for them as well.”