SILVER CREEK - Even race car drivers need to know how to read.
This was the message of a special assembly put on Monday by Lake Erie Speedway at Silver Creek Elementary School. The assembly was part of the 10th annual Race to Read Program, which Silver Creek Elementary has been a part of in the past.
Students are required to read 15 minutes a day for four weeks as part of the program. In return, the students earn four free tickets to Lake Erie Speedway's Race to Read Night, a magnet and a bookmark, as well as an assembly on the importance of reading and safety.
OBSERVER?Photo by Nicole Gugino
Silver Creek elementary students were awed by the race car which came along with Monday’s assembly for the Race to Read program.
Silver Creek elementary students gathered in the gym to learn why even race car drivers need to know how to read.
Jason Scanlon, facilities and special events manager for Lake Erie Speedway, explained if a race car driver can't read they will not know the rules of the race and could be disqualified.
Scanlon also explained reading is necessary to know when many pieces of equipment are still good to use and have not reached their expiration date, like fire-proof suits, gloves and boots as well as helmets and seat belts.
He also said reading is essential for making sure the right size parts go on the race car, like tires.
After a lesson on what each color flag means, Scanlon led the students outside to see a real race car.
The students were able to look under the hood, in the trunk and touch the steering wheel of the black Lake Erie Speedway car.
Elementary School reading teacher Kathleen Burke said the students look forward to the event.
"The kids really get into it," she said. "Last year a girl from Eden came with her mini race car and the kids were like 'wow,' so excited."
This is the 10th year Lake Erie Speedway has held the Race to Read Program, which continues to grow every year. Last year 18 schools in New York and Pennsylvania participated, reading for over 1.8 million minutes. This year 22 schools participated, with even more minutes read.
Lake Erie Speedway is located in North East, Pa., and features late models, modifieds, street stocks, compacts, legends and bandolero classes on its 3/8 mile, compound-banked, asphalt, oval track. Race to Read Night will be held June 2.