NASCAR, VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES AMONG 2015-16 PARTNERS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY’S SPEEDING TO READ PROGRAM
FORT WORTH, Texas (Sept. 29, 2015) – NASCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series are among the 11 organizations that will partnering with Texas Motor Speedway and its Speeding To Read youth education program for the 2015-16 school year.
The organizations will be supporting the efforts of Texas Motor Speedway to incentivize elementary school students to read more frequently at the 11 Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex schools representing more than 6,500 students and seven independent school districts that are competing in the program this year.
In addition to NASCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Speeding To Read program also includes both national and local program partners consisting of aai Trophies and Awards of Plano, Domino’s, Kid’s Beach Club, Lionel Racing, Score-A-Goal in the Classroom, SMI Properties, Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter, The Speedway Club and Woolley’s Frozen Custard.
“These partners, as well as those in previous years, have been critical to the growth and success of the Speeding To Read program,” Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Media Relations Mike Zizzo said. “They have been generous in providing everything from books to dollars to rewards that help us offset expenses for the elementary schools and also provide the incentives throughout the year for the top students and teachers. We are all working together to make an impact on children’s futures in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.”
The Speeding To Read program, named the “Best Youth Marketing Initiative” by the NASCAR industry this past year, enters its fifth year with schools representing the Crowley, Dallas, Denton, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw, Fort Worth, Lewisville and Northwest Independent School Districts. The schools competing are defending champion E.P. Rayzor (Denton); J.A. Hargrave (Crowley); Nathan Adams (Dallas ISD); Northbrook (Eagle Mountain-Saginaw); Carroll Peak and Riverside Applied Learning Center (Fort Worth); Old Settlers and Rockbrook (Lewisville); and Samuel Beck, Sendera Ranch and O.A. Peterson (Northwest ISD).
Since the debut of Speeding To Read in 2011 with a pilot program at Clara Love Elementary School in Justin, 22 schools and more than two dozen sponsors have participated in the program. The 12,000 students representing those 22 schools combined to read more than 1.9 million books.
The organizations have enhanced the program in a variety of ways, ranging from offsetting costs for the schools to providing special programs and rewards for the students. The two sanctioning bodies provide merchandise as rewards and assist in providing their drivers to participate in the kick-off and championship assemblies.
“We’re proud to be part of a program that has such a positive influence on the local communities and also introduces our drivers and style of racing to these children,” said Jay Frye, chief revenue officer for the Verizon IndyCar Series. “The Verizon IndyCar Series has had drivers participate in the assemblies and they came away extremely impressed with the enthusiasm of the students and faculty for this program. We look forward to providing everything from drivers to merchandise to help grow this educational program for Texas Motor Speedway and motorsports in general.”
Beginning this year, NASCAR will integrate its NASCAR Acceleration Nation, a STEM national youth initiative, into the Speeding To Read program. NASCAR Acceleration Nation creates a fun, entertaining and educational way for kids to interact with the sport. The national platform uses the fast-paced world of NASCAR to teach kids about STEM in the classroom, online and at the race track. NASCAR will reward every student that reads a STEM-related book during this year’s Speeding To Read competition and also will provide prize packs for the top overall readers of STEM books at the championship assembly in May.
“The Speeding To Read program has such a positive impact on local schoolchildren, and we’re excited to support its growth by introducing NASCAR Acceleration Nation in 2015,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Marketing & Industry Services. “Our national youth initiative is all about bringing STEM principles to life through NASCAR, and represents a perfect fit for Texas Motor Speedway’s award-winning education platform.”
Speedway Children’s Charities annually offsets the cost of the t-shirts for every student and faculty member participating in the program by picking up half the amount. The Speedway Club provides dinners for two and spa treatments as rewards for the champion principals, librarians and teachers. Companies such as Domino’s and Woolley’s Frozen Custard provide product for the entire school that wins the overall championship and the other that captures the divisional title.
Another student benefit of the Speeding To Read program is the Lionel Racing “Design A Die-cast” competition, which debuted last year. Students who meet or exceed their reading goals will get the opportunity to participate in the art competition, where they design their own paint scheme for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. The top design from Grades K-2 and 3-5 will be recreated and produced on an actual 1:24 scale, hood-opening, trunk-opening die-cast by Lionel Racing, the Official Die-Cast of NASCAR, and presented to the winning students.
“Last year, we saw firsthand the positive impact that Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read program has on Fort Worth-area students,” said Howard Hitchcock, President of Lionel Racing. “Speeding To Read is fun and effective, and our team is excited to be part of a program that develops a lifelong of reading in such an engaging way.”
In addition to funding and running the program, Texas Motor Speedway also donates thousands of tickets to NASCAR and INDYCAR races at the venue to give the students and their families an opportunity to experience a motorsports event at a world-class facility.
The competition officially began Sept. 9 at the 11 schools and will be followed by today’s Speeding To Read kick-off assembly with the schools and a guest visit by 18-year-old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver John Hunter Nemechek at the speedway.
The student bodies are split into two divisions – kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grade – with individuals, classrooms and schools competing against each other to read the most books and earn the title of Speeding To Read champions. Texas Motor Speedway rewards students throughout the year for their reading prowess, ranging from trophies to tickets to NASCAR and INDYCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway. Individual grade, classroom, division and overall champions will be crowned during the Speeding To Read championship assembly at Texas Motor Speedway in late May.
For more information on Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read, please visit speedingtoread.wpengine.com.