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Literacy week off to a racing start in Kaysville

By Nadine Wimmer | Posted - Feb 26th, 2013 @ 8:12am

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KAYSVILLE — Readers got a big boost of horsepower when Rocky Mountain Raceway brought some of its racing fleet to Snow Horse Elementary School.

Revving engines, exhaust and checkered flags added excitement to the school's literacy week.

"We got these race cars here and are celebrating the success of the Read Today program here at Snow Horse," said AmeriCorps Coordinator Janel Tidwell.

The race team brought a late model race car that speeds a quarter mile in under 10 seconds. KSL brought its Mini Cooper 5 to support the effort; it goes a quarter mile in about 18 seconds.

Either way, the message wasn't a need for speed; it was a need to read.

"It's something we try to do, to encourage everyone to stay in school," said Drag Strip Manager Ron Craft.

Snow Horse Elementary takes part in KSL's Read Today program, where community tutors work one-on-one with struggling readers. Several of the students shared their experience and progress.

"We've been reading and skipping a lot of levels," said Sidney Nielson, a student at the elementary school.

It's something we try to do, to encourage everyone to stay in school.

–Ron Craft, Drag Strip Manager

For Jacob Buttars, a fourth grader at the school, progress has been easy to track as his reading skills excel.

"Most of the time I'm off the charts in accuracy," he said.

Their tutors include a cadre of high school students and students from a nearby junior high, along with neighbors and parents. It's not just a growing experience for the elementary students being tutored, but for the tutors as well.

All of the tutors spoke proudly of the growing gains and confidence. But it's the relationships, they said, that keep them coming back every week for the entire school year.

"They become friends," said Tidwell. "It's more than just about learning how to read."

Kathleen Bagley, principal at the elementary school, cheered on students wearing a race pit hat and showing kids which book selection from the library included cars.

Each student also got a ticket to the races at Rocky Mountain Raceway later this spring, so they can get another pedal to the medal reading reminder.


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Nadine Wimmer

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