Story courtesy of Dennis Worden, Director of PR
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – Darlington Raceway will once again partner with the Darlington County School District in a multi-agency summer reading program designed to emphasize the importance of reading and combat summer learning loss for students in Darlington County.
Almost 7,000 DCSD students in kindergarten through eighth grade will participate in the summer reading program, which involves Darlington Raceway, the Darlington County Library system, the TEACH Foundation, and South Carolina Future Minds in a districtwide effort.
"We want our local children to excel in school and grow up to make a positive impact in the world we live in," Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp said. "We are more than happy to utilize our resources at the track to encourage a child to read more and improve their education."
"We greatly appreciate Darlington Raceway, the TEACH Foundation, the Darlington County Library System and South Carolina Future Minds for supporting summer reading in Darlington County. With their help, we can combat summer learning loss and help our students continue to learn throughout the summer," said Dr. Eddie Ingram, district superintendent. "This year's program, which includes free books from the SC Future Minds, a brand new bookmobile from the TEACH Foundation, support and testing from the Darlington County libraries, will culminate in an incredible reward at Darlington Raceway. This will provide our students with the tools and encouragement to read during the summer and be successful during the school year."
During the summer reading program, students in kindergarten through eighth grade countywide will read books and then take Accelerated Reader (AR) tests at any of the local branches of the Darlington County Library System. The Darlington County Library System has computers available for the tests and specialists who can help guide students to the appropriate books as well as set them up with the AR tests. Each grade level will have specific point goals.
When the program concludes in August, all students who reach their AR point goals will be rewarded with a special fieldtrip. In addition, the top three readers in each grade will receive a special trip to Darlington Raceway on Friday, Sept. 1, to receive a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the track's legendary Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend.
To kick off this year's summer reading program, South Carolina Future Minds (SCFM) partnered with Darlington Raceway and the Darlington County School District on Friday, May 26 to provide free books for students at Lamar Elementary in Lamar, SC and Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School in Society Hill, SC.
"We are thrilled to work with Darlington Raceway and Darlington County School District to tackle summer reading loss among our extraordinary public school students," South Carolina Future Minds Executive Director Caroline Mauldin said. "Every child deserves the chance to reach their potential—in and out of the classroom—and it is through innovative, exciting partnerships like this one that we will ensure that all of South Carolina's children do just that."
SCFM will utilize a summer literacy grant they recently received from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to provide free books to the students to help them build their own home libraries and begin working toward their summer reading goals. SCFM champions world-class student achievement by developing excellence in teaching, encouraging collaboration among public education stakeholders, and connecting private financial support to public schools.
The summer reading program is just one of many partnerships Darlington Raceway has supported over the years as part of its youth initiatives. It also offers one of the best kids ticket offers in the industry with 12-and-under half-price for any seat to the Bojangles' Southern 500.