Bandimere Speedway's Race-Themed Reading Program
For the past 26 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 39 schools participating in 2022, the program has been in 291 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.
** Your school must be registered in order to participate in Race to Read. **
2023 Program Materials
Change Brings Change
As we enter our 27th year encouraging preschool and elementary-age students to read through a fun race theme and prizes, the Race to Read Program has taken on a different look. While the program still provides incentives for at-home reading, the new format has shifted much of the effort required by participating schools back to Bandimere Speedway in order for school participation to continue to be strong.
In 2020, Race to Read started off with 71 participating schools and once it was determined that in-person schooling would not taking place after Spring Break, the program was shelved in hopes that the following year would be back to normal. Unfortunately in 2021, many schools were still operating with a combination of online and in-person learning and for the first time in 25 years, Race to Read took on a completely different format - one that was easier for schools to implement while still giving students the opportunity to earn some fun prizes for their reading accomplishments.
Because Race to Read has always been an at-home reading program, a BINGO sheet was composed with students returning their completed reading sheets directly to Bandimere Speedway. Tickets/wristbands for the NAPA Auto Parts 'Night of Fire & Thunder' were mailed directly to qualifying students earning tickets to the race. This new format was continued in 2022 and will also be the format for 2023. And while there is no longer a registration fee for schools to participate, a school must be registered in order for their students to be able to participate in the program. (Registration information will be sent out in February.)
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, May 20. In 2023, the dates for the program are March 27 through May 5. 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 approximately 50 schools participating each year.
I want my elementary-age kids to participate in "Race to Read"®. What do I need to do?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
2022 "Race to Read": 39 total participating schools, and 19,000 total students.
"Thank you so much for the awesome challenge. My daughter absolutely loved it and is over-the-moon excited to take her dad to a 'real' car race." -Annie
"Thanks so much for putting this program together. My kids were highly motivated to participate and get their BINGO sheet completed. It was fun for them and great options for participating." -Deardra
"What a great idea! My girls were so excited about this they worked on these without me ever asking!" -Micki
"I just wanted to thank you guys for providing this opportunity, so kids can get a chance to go to the races and find their love for reading. My daughter just started to read her homework and I am so proud. Sometimes it's hard to find things that help support the love to read and you guys did an amazing job on the BINGO squares. She is so excited to go and see the cars." -Marykatherine
"I would like to say Thank You for coordinating such a great event which not only enables kids to read, enrich their knowledge about motor sports, but also creates a wonderful opportunity for parents and kids to do things together." -Tien
"Thank you so very much for offering this fantastic program to inspire and encourage our children to read! It is so exciting to see my daughter sit down and devour books with such enthusiasm. We are so grateful for your family and look forward to seeing you at the races!" -Reba
Our 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
Colorado National Speedway
Team Jeg’s Racing – Quartermile Charities
AMF/Brunswick/Bowlero Bowling Centers
Kenz & Leslie Distributing
Lakeside Amusement Park
Beau Jo's Pizza
Blaster Bouncer Castles
El Jebel Shrine Circus
Forney Transportation Museum
Phil Long Community Fund
Table Mountain Inn
Mid Air Adventures
Evergreen Lake House
CYT (Christian Youth Theatre)
Jeffco Library Foundation
Soap Box Derby
Papa John's Pizza
Monarch Spa & Casino
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Click below to see all the Schools that have participated in "Race to Read"® to date.
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.