Award-Winning "Race to Read"® Program Provides a Fun, Race-Themed Incentive for Elementary-Age Students
For the past 21 years, Bandimere Speedway has been conducting a reading program in local elementary schools. Started during the '95-96 school year, at Rooney Ranch Elementary School in Lakewood, Colorado. The program continues to thrive, with 63 schools participating in 2017, the program has been in 206 different Colorado schools since 1996. The support from racers and businesses through a variety of innovative ways have helped the program in its growth while further stating Bandimere Speedway’s commitment to the community, young people, education, and families.
What is "Race to Read"®?
"Race to Read"®, is a six-week reading program, designed to encourage literacy by providing an exciting race-themed incentive for preschool and elementary-age students. The program can also be customized by schools to fit most any special education requirement for participating students.
"Race to Read"® is a six-week program that starts in March and ends in May, two weeks prior to the speedway’s season-opening event, the NAPA Auto Parts "Night of Fire & Thunder", scheduled for a Saturday in the middle of May. In 2018, the dates for the program are March 26 through May 4. Prizes are awarded when students complete Take-Home Reading sheets provided by the program. Complimentary tickets for the reader and one accompanying adult to the "Night of Fire & Thunder" event are offered as prize incentives during the reading program.
"Race to Read"® has its roots at Jefferson County’s Rooney Ranch Elementary School in Lakewood, Colorado, where it helped kick-off the school’s inaugural year in 1995/1996. The response by the school community was tremendous and prompted many contacts from other schools interested in establishing the program for their students. In 1997, the program was expanded to eight schools with the same positive response.
I want my elementary-age kids to participate in "Race to Read"®. What do I need to do?
Simply call Tami Bandimere, "Race to Read"® Coordinator, at 303-697-6013 ext. 104 or email at email@example.com to get on the list for interested schools. You can either call as a parent interested in taking information to your kids’ school or you can have a school staff member call. When calling for information, please be prepared with the following information: name of school, address, phone number, name of librarian or interested faculty member, and approximately how many students attend the school. Sign-up packets are mailed out the first week in February. Cost for the program is $200 per school per year. Currently, the program is only available to schools in Colorado.
What materials are provided to schools participating in "Race to Read"®?
Participating schools are provided with prizes and a program instruction folder. "Race to Read"® banners are included along with a variety of race-themed decorations (race photos, posters, flags, folders, stickers, etc.). Included in the program folder are detailed instructions on how to run the program including pre-printed fax/email transmittal sheets for important information needed by Bandimere Speedway throughout the program. Original forms are provided in this folder as well (Take-Home Reading record sheets, "Night of Fire & Thunder" informational flier and a "Race to Read"® information sheet for parents). A list of racers willing to display their race vehicle(s) is also included so schools can contact the racers themselves and set up an exciting display at their school during the program. Also included are prizes and incentives being offered to students participating in the program.
What is required of the students participating in the "Race to Read"® program?
"Race to Read"® rewards AT HOME
reading by preschool and elementary age students. After working with schools on what was an additional, yet reasonable amount of reading for the average student, the "Race to Read"® program requires Preschool through second graders to read (or be read to) in 15-minute intervals, while third grade through sixth grade students read in 30-minute intervals. Each Take-Home Reading Sheet allows Preschool-2nd grade students (primary) four hours of additional reading and 3rd - 6th grade students (intermediate) eight hours. In order to complete the program’s requirements, primary students complete four Take-Home Reading sheets (16 hours of reading) and intermediate students complete 32 hours of reading during the six-week program. Of course, students can continue reading past the pre-set requirements in order to secure a position as the Top Reader of their school and be eligible for additional prizes. Each time a student turns in a Take-Home Reading Sheet, they are presented with a fun prize as well as discount coupons to local businesses. The program provides these prizes through the fourth Take-Home Reading Sheet, with the "Night of Fire & Thunder" tickets being the prize for turning in the third sheet. Schools are encouraged to solicit their own additional prizes for their students who turn in five or more Take-Home Reading Sheets. The two top readers in each school – one from Preschool - grade 2 and one from grades 3-6 – are publically recognized during the NAPA Auto Parts "Night of Fire & Thunder" and receive additional fun prizes in a specially prepared goodie bag available for them at the "Night of Fire & Thunder".
How can you get involved with "Race to Read®"?
Because this program strives to be self-supportive through the Bandimere Family Foundation, your tax-deductible donation is extremely helpful in providing important funds as this program continues to reach more students each year. Your check can be made out to the "Bandimere Family Foundation", a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, and mailed "Attention: "Race to Read" to the Bandimere Speedway offices, 3051 South Rooney Road, Morrison, CO 80465. A donation receipt will be mailed to you for tax purposes.
The program also benefits from your vehicle donation through carshelpingcharities.org.
Be a Display Racer!
Bandimere Speedway has a list of racers on file who have indicated they are willing to display their race vehicle(s) at schools participating in the "Race to Read"® program as well as at other events throughout Colorado. By displaying for this program, you have an unprecedented opportunity of explaining to these young students how important it is that they learn how to enjoy reading. You can also express how vital reading is in building a race car and racing it. Be prepared to answer LOTS of questions and sign LOTS of autographs! If you want to be added to the list or to change your information on the list, call Tami at 303-697-6013 ext. 104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of our racers and their families have also participated in various fundraisers we have had for the program – auctions, drawings, golf tournament, etc. Each of these events provides important funding for "Race to Read"® and allow the program to grow in the amount of schools and children participating each year.
There are a variety of other opportunities available for business sponsorship in this program including but not limited to, in-kind donations, monetary support, discounts, media exposure, and more. If you have a business or know someone who has a business that is interested in supporting unique, educational programs for children, tax-deductible donations to help support "Race to Read" are always welcome. If you have a suggestion or idea that might be considered for the program, please e-mail it to email@example.com.
Bandimere Speedway's Race-Themed Reading Program
Recognition received by the "Race to Read"® program:
Jefferson County’s International Reading Association "Celebrate Literacy" Award (1995 & 1996)
Jefferson Foundation’s Crystal Globe Award for distinguished service (1999)
Jefferson County’s Good News Coalition for contribution to the community (1999)
Jefferson Economic Council's "Chaiman's Choice Award" (2001)
Current supporters of "Race to Read"®:
Bandimere Speedway Racers and Families
NHRA Professional Racers, Photographers and Businesses
Daimler-Chrysler Motors Corporation (Mopar)
Daimler-Chrysler Parts Service Guild
Colorado Rapids Soccer
Colorado National Speedway
Team Jeg’s Racing – Quartermile Charities
AMF and Brunswick Bowling Centers
Kenz & Leslie Distributing
Lakeside Amusement Park
Beau Jo's Pizza
Blaster Bouncer Castles
El Jebel Shrine Circus
Forney Transportation Museum
Phil Long Community Fund
Table Mountain Inn
Mid Air Adventures
Evergreen Lake House
CYT (Christian Youth Theatre)
Famous Dave's BBQ
For more information on supporting the "Race to Read"® program, contact: Tami Bandimere, "Race to Read"® Coordinator 3051 S. Rooney Road Morrison, CO 80465 303-697-6013 ext. 104 firstname.lastname@example.org