It was the big payoff for about 25 students from Snow Creek Elementary School: hot laps around Martinsville Speedway in the pace car and hot pizza in the track’s infield.
The students were part of more than 11,000 youngsters from six school systems that participated in Martinsville Speedway’s annual Read-Your-Way to the Race program during the past year. It was the 10th year for the program.
Participating students are required to read a set number of books or chapters based on their skill level during a six week period. Students who achieve the requirements are eligible to win various prizes, including participating in the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pre-race and post-race ceremonies and riding along in the Kroger 200 pace vehicle during the parade lap.
Classes that have high participation in the reading program can win the chance to lead the Kroger 200 crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, lead the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance or have a pizza party in the infield of the track along with pace car rides.
More than 2,000 students reached the required reading goal this year.
“The reading program is something we are very proud of,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “It has been a very effective way for us to work with school systems to help get kids more excited about reading.”
The third-graders from Snow Creek Elementary School who had completed their Read-Your-Way to the Race requirements were the winners of a pizza party at the track and recently made the trip from neighboring Franklin County to collect their prize.
Not only did the Snow Creek Elementary students surpass the Read-Your-Way to the Race goal, they topped goals set by their school. The group of third, fourth and fifth-graders earned “Super Reader” status by completing the school’s Accelerated Reader program which requires them to pass comprehension quizzes on books they have read and surpass their grade level goals for mid-year and end-of-year.
“These kids have read a lot and have really understood what they read,” said Jamie Brooks, third-grade teacher at Snow Creek Elementary. “We are extremely proud of their hard work and interest in reading.”