Race to Read


Bandimere Speedway's Race-Themed Reading Program

Award-Winning "Race to Read"® Program Provides a Fun, Race-Themed Incentive for Elementary-Age Student

For the past 23 years, Bandimere Speedway has been conducting a reading program in local elementary schools. Started during the '95-96 school year, at Rooney Ranch Elementary School in Lakewood, Colorado. The program continues to thrive, with 67 schools participating in 2020, the program has been in 228 different Colorado schools since 1996. The support from racers and businesses through a variety of innovative ways have helped the program in its growth while further stating Bandimere Speedway’s commitment to the community, young people, education, and families.

2021 Program Materials

Parent Info
BINGO Sheet #1
BINGO Sheet #2
Night of Fire Info

What is "Race to Read"®?

 "Race to Read"®, is a six-week reading program, designed to encourage literacy by providing an exciting race-themed incentive for preschool and elementary-age students. The program can also be customized by schools to fit most any special education requirement for participating students.

"Race to Read"® starts in March and ends in May, two weeks prior to the speedway’s season-opening event, the NAPA Auto Parts "Night of Fire & Thunder", scheduled for a Saturday in the middle of May. In 2021, the dates for the program are March 23 through May 1. Prizes are awarded when students complete Take-Home Reading sheets provided by the program. Complimentary tickets for the reader and one accompanying adult to the NAPA Auto Parts "Night of Fire & Thunder" event are offered as prize incentives during the reading program.

"Race to Read"® has its roots at Jefferson County’s Rooney Ranch Elementary School in Lakewood, Colorado, where it helped kick-off the school’s inaugural year in 1995/1996. The response by the school community was tremendous and prompted many contacts from other schools interested in establishing the program for their students. In 1997, the program was expanded to eight schools with the same positive response and has grown to over 50 schools since.

I want my elementary-age kids to participate in "Race to Read"®. What do I need to do?

Simply call Tami Bandimere, "Race to Read"® Coordinator, at 303-697-6013 ext. 104 or email at tami@bandimere.com to get on the list for interested schools. You can either call as a parent interested in taking information to your kids’ school or you can have a school staff member call. When calling for information, please be prepared with the following information: name of school, address, phone number, name of librarian or interested faculty member, and approximately how many students attend the school. Sign-up packets are mailed out the first week in February. Cost for the program is $200 per school per year. Currently, the program is only available to schools in Colorado.

What materials are provided to schools participating in "Race to Read"®?

Participating schools are provided with prizes and a program instruction folder. "Race to Read"® banners are included along with a variety of race-themed decorations (race photos, posters, flags, folders, stickers, etc.). Included in the program folder are detailed instructions on how to run the program including pre-printed fax/email transmittal sheets for important information needed by Bandimere Speedway throughout the program. Original forms are provided in this folder as well (Take-Home Reading record sheets, "Night of Fire & Thunder" informational flier and a "Race to Read"® information sheet for parents). A list of racers willing to display their race vehicle(s) is also included so schools can contact the racers themselves and set up an exciting display at their school during the program. Also included are prizes and incentives being offered to students participating in the program.

What is required of the students participating in the "Race to Read"® program?

"Race to Read"® rewards AT HOME reading by preschool and elementary age students. After working with schools on what was an additional, yet reasonable amount of reading for the average student, the "Race to Read"® program requires preschool through second graders to read (or be read to) in 15-minute intervals, while third grade through sixth grade students read in 30-minute intervals. Each Take-Home Reading Sheet allows preschool-2nd grade students (primary) four hours of additional reading and 3rd - 6th grade students (intermediate) eight hours. In order to complete the program’s requirements, primary students complete four Take-Home Reading sheets (16 hours of reading) and intermediate students complete 32 hours of reading during the six-week program. Of course, students can continue reading past the pre-set requirements in order to secure a position as the Top Reader of their school and be eligible for additional prizes. Each time a student turns in a Take-Home Reading Sheet, they are presented with a fun prize as well as discount coupons to local businesses. The program provides these prizes through the fourth Take-Home Reading Sheet, with the NAPA Auto Parts "Night of Fire & Thunder" tickets being the prize for turning in the third sheet. Schools are encouraged to solicit their own additional prizes for their students who turn in five or more Take-Home Reading Sheets. The two top readers in each school – one from Preschool - grade 2 and one from grades 3-6 – are publically recognized during the NAPA Auto Parts "Night of Fire & Thunder" and receive additional fun prizes in a specially prepared goodie bag available for them at the "Night of Fire & Thunder"

Be a Display Racer!

Bandimere Speedway has a list of racers on file who have indicated they are willing to display their race vehicle(s) at schools participating in the "Race to Read"® program as well as at other events throughout Colorado. By displaying for this program, you have an unprecedented opportunity of explaining to these young students how important it is that they learn how to enjoy reading. You can also express how vital reading is in building a race car and racing it. Be prepared to answer LOTS of questions and sign LOTS of autographs! If you want to be added to the list or to change your information on the list, call Tami at 303-697-6013 ext. 104 or email tami@bandimere.com.

Many of our racers and their families have also participated in various fundraisers we have had for the program – auctions, drawings, golf tournament, etc. Each of these events  provides important funding for "Race to Read"® and  allow the program to grow in the amount of schools and children participating each year.

There are a variety of other opportunities available for business sponsorship in this program including but not limited to, in-kind donations, monetary support, discounts, media exposure, and more. If you have a business or know someone who has a business that is interested in supporting unique, educational programs for children, tax-deductible donations to help support "Race to Read" are always welcome. If you have a suggestion or idea that might be considered for the program, please e-mail it to tami@bandimere.com.

2020 "Race to Read": 59 total participating schools, and 29,500 total students. 4,958 students earned tickets to the NAPA Auto Parts "Night of Fire & Thunder" and there was 132,872.50 hours read!

  • Placeholder
  • Placeholder
  • Placeholder
  • Placeholder
  • Placeholder

"My kids are out of control!" The Boys and Girls Club have challenged Base Camp to see how many of their kids can "cross the finish line" with Car (Reading Sheet) #3. Both of these programs are after school programs that support a lot of our students. They are so awesome. Thanks so much. At our staff meeting Tuesday everyone was commenting how amazed they were at what can motivate the kids. You guys are truly making a difference in the lives of our future 'racers'. Deb Gillan, Literacy Reading Coordinator, Putnam Elementary School.

"Race to Read"® unites the world of business and education in a way that does powerful things for student literacy." Bill Rowley, former Principal, and Rooney Ranch Elementary

"Students who already love to read were rewarded during ‘Race to Read’® and others were motivated to open a book for fun and pleasure. They loved reaching the goal of going to Bandimere or being the top reader in their class." Marge Weingardt, Library Media Specialist, Wilmore-Davis Elementary

"Kids come up to you in the hall and say, ‘I’m reading! I’m reading! I’m going make it to the races this year!’ They are so excited to get such a cool reward." Lynn Burris, Kindergarten Teacher, Belmar Elementary

"Race to Read"® is a wonderful reading program! The program is easily adapted to all grades in elementary school. After bringing ‘real’ racers and cars to our school, everyone (including the teachers) got much more involved! We truly enjoyed this, especially the two teachers who were picked to actually race a car!" Laura Yeaman, Library-Media, Pleasantview Elementary

"One parent sent me a note indicating it was the best reading program she has seen. Her whole family increased their reading." Bette Stober, LMC Specialist, Mitchell Elementary

"Dear Mr. Bandimere, Thank you for sponsoring our reading program ‘Race to Read’®. I read to my little sister every night and I enjoyed reading to her. My favorite thing in the program was when I won something. Thank you for the tickets. I’ll be sure to use them. My family has never been to Bandimere Speedway. My family and I are excited." Participating third grade student

"I would like to thank you for sponsoring the ‘Race to Read"® program and offering free tickets to the ‘Night of Fire & Thunder’. We had a wonderful time . . . my son is in the third grade and has not been so excited to read. He was so excited about your program he has read more books than the last two years and he found a series he is so excited about. Thank you for sparking his love for reading now." Mother of a "Race to Read"® Participant

'’Race to Read’® happens at a good time of year when students are a little harder to motivate. It helps us as teachers to maintain high expectations for independent reading at the end of the school year." Debbra Parker, Teacher, Columbine Hills Elementary

Our Current Supporters Include:

Bandimere Speedway Racers and Families
NHRA Professional Racers, Photographers and Businesses
Daimler-Chrysler Motors Corporation (Mopar)
Daimler-Chrysler Parts Service Guild
Colorado Rapids Soccer
Fat City
Colorado National Speedway
Casa Bonita
Sky Venture
Team Jeg’s Racing – Quartermile Charities
AMF/Brunswick/Bowlero Bowling Centers
Kenz & Leslie Distributing
Lakeside Amusement Park
Skate City
Elitch Gardens
Beau Jo's Pizza
Abo's Pizza
Blaster Bouncer Castles
Colorado Rockies
Club USA
Butterfly Pavilion
El Jebel Shrine Circus
Forney Transportation Museum
Phil Long Community Fund
Table Mountain Inn
Mid Air Adventures
Adventure Golf
Evergreen Lake House
CYT (Christian Youth Theatre)
Jeffco Library Foundation
Action Karting
Soap Box Derby
Papa John's Pizza
Famous Dave's BBQ

For more information on supporting the "Race to Read"® program, contact: Tami Bandimere, "Race to Read"® Coordinator 3051 S. Rooney Road Morrison, CO 80465 303-697-6013 ext. 104 tami@bandimere.com

Schools' Participation

Click below to see all the Schools that have participated in "Race to Read"® to date.


Coloring Pages

Download our Race to Read Coloring Pages for some fun Reading & Coloring activities! 


Recognition Received by the Race to Read® Program:

Jefferson County’s International Reading Association "Celebrate Literacy" Award (1995 & 1996)

Jefferson Foundation’s Crystal Globe Award for distinguished service (1999)

Jefferson County’s Good News Coalition for contribution to the community (1999)

Jefferson Economic Council's "Chairman's Choice Award" (2001)

How can you get involved with "Race to Read®"?

Because this program strives to be self-supportive through the Bandimere Family Foundation, your tax-deductible donation is extremely helpful in providing important funds as this program continues to reach more students each year.  Your check can be made out to the "Bandimere Family Foundation", a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and mailed "Attention: "Race to Read" to the Bandimere Speedway offices, 3051 South Rooney Road, Morrison, CO 80465. A donation receipt will be mailed to you for tax purposes.

The program also benefits from your vehicle donation through carshelpingcharities.org