SPEEDING TO READ SET TO KICK OFF WITH RECORD NUMBER OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS FOR 2017-18 COMPETITION
- Reading Program To Have 21 Schools, More than 12,000 Students From Among Seven Of DFW’s Top 25 Largest ISDs
- Students Have Combined To Read Nearly 3.7 Million Books In First Six Years Of Speeding To Read
FORT WORTH, Texas – Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read program will open its seventh season with a record 21 elementary schools and 12,061 students set to participate in the school year-long reading competition.
The schools stretch across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with seven of the top 25 largest Independent School Districts represented in the competition, including four of the top eight. The group represents Dallas (1st), Fort Worth (2nd), Lewisville (6th), Mesquite (8th), Denton (14th), Northwest (20th) and Crowley (23rd). Little Elm is the eighth ISD represented among the 21 schools.
The 2017-18 enrollment for Speeding To Read nearly doubles the previous highs for the number of schools and students. The former record of 11 schools and 6,500 students was set in 2013-14 and matched in ’15-16.
“It’s been incredible to see the growth of Speeding To Read for this upcoming school year and having the ability to make an impact on even more students across the Metroplex,” said Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Media Relations Mike Zizzo, who created the program in 2011. “While we are making reading fun and rewarding for children, we also hope to enhance their educational experience as well as their futures by reading more frequently.”
The schools competing this year are led by defending co-champions E.P. Rayzor of the Denton ISD and B.B. Owen of the Lewisville ISD. Both enjoyed perfect seasons with 100 percent of their student bodies meeting the pre-set reading goals for the entire year. It was Rayzor’s third consecutive Speeding To Read school crown while B.B. Owen earned the title in just its first year of competition.
The elementary schools participating this year with Rayzor and B.B. Owen are Henrie, Cannaday, Shands and Black (Mesquite ISD); Manuel Jara, Diamond Hill and Carter Park (Fort Worth ISD); Tom C. Gooch and Marsalis (Dallas ISD); Brent (Little Elm ISD); McAuliffe, Peters Colony, Homestead, Stewart’s Creek and Vickery (Lewisville ISD); Hargrave (Crowley ISD); and Hughes, Lakeview and Seven Hills (Northwest ISD). The group will be divided into two conferences (Frontstretch, Backstretch) and four divisions (Lug Nut, Horsepower, Burnout and Pit Stop).
Speeding To Read officially kicks off Sept. 13-15 with “Start Your Reading Engines” assemblies at each school and then the competition begins Monday, Sept. 18. The competition culminates in May with the Speeding To Read Championship Assemblies at Texas Motor Speedway.
It was traditionally a one-day affair with all the schools on hand to crown the overall individual, classroom and school champions, but it has been expanded this year due to the growth. Texas Motor Speedway will host championship assemblies on consecutive days (May 22-23) with more than 6,000 students coming each day as well as drivers from NASCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series as special guests.
Since Speeding To Read began in 2011-12 with one pilot school, the program has impacted nearly 24,000 children from the 43 schools that competed in the first six years. Those students have combined to read nearly 3.7 million books in the program’s existence. Last year alone, the 10 schools and 5,049 students combined to read 678,887 books.
Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read program is supported by the following partners: Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas, NASCAR, Verizon IndyCar Series, Lionel Racing, Speedway World, Levy Restaurants, The Speedway Club, aai Trophies and Awards of Plano, Woolley’s Frozen Custard and Team Texas High Performance Driving School.