Students...Start Your Reading!
Popular and Successful Read for Speed Program Launches in Two Area Schools
By: WGI Staff on 2/24/2010
Students at WGE receive their awards and a picture with Max Traxx
Watkins Glen International dropped the green flag on this year’s “Read for Speed” reading program during separate assemblies at two local elementary schools over the last few weeks. The students at Watkins Glen Elementary School (WGE) began their sixth year as part of the highly successfully program on Monday, February 22nd and Fassett Elementary School in Elmira, NY kicked off their fourth year of participation on Tuesday, February 3rd. The program offers gift certificates from area businesses, exclusive track access and once in a lifetime opportunities at the track as rewards for reading comprehension and will run until May 14th.
Watkins Glen International initially launched the Read for Speed program at Watkins Glen Elementary in 2005. Students read over 24,000 books in 2009 and as a reward they had Principal Rodney Weeden dress in a pickle costume and then got the opportunity to “sink” him in a dunk tank at the end of the school year. Aside from tickets to the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen or Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen weekends, WGE students will be awarded gift certificates from Friendly’s restaurant at the Arnot Mall in Big Flats, NY, McDonald’s restaurants in Elmira, NY and Watkins Glen, Johnny’s Bowling Lanes in Watkins Glen, Rossi Lanes in Elmira, and swimming passes to Chemung County Buildings and Grounds operated aquatic facilities Harris Hill Pool and Park Station Waterfront.
“We are now in our 6th year of running “Read for Speed” here at Watkins Glen Elementary. We just had our start up assembly with the students and the students seem very psyched to start the competition.” said Rodney Weeden, principal of Watkins Glen Elementary. “Positive reinforcement of reading is not only supported by the educational staff, but by the parents and local business community. The program has become just as much a part of the culture of our school as racing has to the Watkins Glen community.”
This will be the fourth year that the Read for Speed program officially runs at Fassett Elementary School. The first grade classes at Washington Elementary in Elmira, NY, participated in a scaled down version of the program in 2006. Those classes moved to Fassett Elementary in 2007 and will once again participate in the entire program which includes the chance to win tickets to The Glen’s two biggest weekends. Students will also have the chance to win gift certificates from Friendly’s restaurant at the Arnot Mall, Rossi Bowling Lanes and McDonald’s restaurants in Elmira, NY, and swimming passes to Harris Hill and Park State Waterfront.
The “fastest” classes at Watkins Glen Elementary will be rewarded for their reading with a bus trip to The Glen in June prior to the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Students will be treated to three laps around the historic road course behind a pace car and head over to the FrontStretch Grandstand to eat their lunches and be treated to ice cream cake provided by Perry’s Ice Cream.
The program also features a reading “Pit Stop” in April where individual classrooms can play racing games, hangout with Read for Speed mascot Max Traxx, check out the Official WGI Pace Car, and get their picture taken with The Glen’s NASCAR Nationwide Series show car.