Watkins Glen International and the Watkins Glen Elementary Schools, waved the green flag earlier today to launch this year's "Read for Speed" reading program. This marks the second year for the reading program which offers exclusive track access and once in a lifetime opportunities at the track as rewards for reading comprehension.
In February of 2005 Watkins Glen International launched the Read for Speed elementary level reading program. The program offers tack access and once in a lifetime opportunities at the historic road course to elementary students to encourage academic aptitude through reading comprehension. The program was paired with the school's Accelerated Reading (AR) program which was also launched in 2005.
In 2005 the students that read the most books won a trip to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series weekend at The Glen in August for their entire family. The winning student got her picture taken in Gatorade Victory Lane with race winner and the 2005 Series Champion, Tony Stewart! Another kindergarten got his picture take with his favorite driver, Kyle Busch!
"Last year we were thrilled with the program and student participation," stated Rodney Weeden, principal of the Watkins Glen Elementary schools. "A record number of books were checked out from the library last year and the kids were excited about reading. Pairing the AR program with the Read for Speed incentives helped the teachers make reading fun."
The program also provides a reading "Pit Stop" in April where individual classrooms can play racing games and get their picture taken with a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series show car. The program will run from March 6th until May 26th.
"We wanted to make a positive impact in the community and developed the 'Read for Speed' program to inspire children to read by exposing them to the exciting things that we have to offer," said Paul Hemingway, Senior Director of Marketing and Sales. "We appreciate the critical role that our educators play and hope that the 'Read for Speed' program will continue to help in that regard."
Not only did Watkins Glen Elementary School students get to hear about the new initiative during the in-school assembly this morning, but they got to shake hands with the face of the program, the "Read for Speed" mascot - Max Traxx. To help kick-off the program, Max handed out tool kits to each participating classroom including comprehensive reading logs, classroom posters, and incentive coupons from participating local businesses. The program is based on an 11-turn track map of Watkins Glen International and a points system that was developed in conjunction with Watkins Glen Elementary and principal Rodney Weeden.
Tickets for the 2006 race season at The Glen are on-sale now. Fans can order the best seats in the house at an advance price and save, until TOYOTA Opening Day, April 30th. For tickets and additional information, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE, log on TheGlen.com, buy online at www.racetickets.com or stop by The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen.