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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Race to Read

Leslie Allen is a ìfastî teacher. A second-grade teacher at Ridgeview Elementary in Falcon, Allen and her class participated in Bandimere Speedwayís ìRace to Readî program. When her class won the reading contest, Allen was invited to the speedway to race cars against other Colorado teachers.Race to Read is a statewide contest that has taken place for 16 years. The six-week program is aimed at getting kids excited about reading. Designed for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, the students accumulate points when they log in reading time from materials they take home (being read to counts for the younger kids). According to Bandimereís website, more than 30,000 students participated in the 2012/2013 school year.Individual students also received prizes based on their points.Children in kindergarten through second grade are required to read (or have a parent or guardian read to them) for 15 minutes a day. The older kids must read for 30 minutes each day. Extra reading is encouraged, and additional points are given for reading above and beyond the requirements. Allen said her class enjoyed Race to Read. ìI got them really into it because I wanted to win,î she said. Two of her students went to Bandimere Speedway to watch their teacher take the track in a Chevy Camaro. In her final race, Allen topped out at 97 mph and placed second out of about 90 teachers. ìIt was such a blast, definitely an adrenaline rush,î she said.However, Allen said she has no plans to give up teaching to become a race car driver.

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