Lefty's Reading Challenge

Five elementary schools -- including Shadow Hills and Hemlock from Fontana -- were winners in Lefty's Reading Challenge at Auto Club Speedway earlier this year.  (Contributed photo by Mike Myers)

It’s back to school time, which means elementary school teachers are adding Lefty’s Reading Challenge to their fall curriculum to help win money for their school libraries.

Lefty’s Reading Challenge is Auto Club Speedway's free literacy program, which is offered in more than 200 elementary schools in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties.

“A majority of elementary school teachers tell us that because of Lefty’s Reading Challenge, they see an improvement in their students' reading levels,” said Dave Allen, president of Auto Club Speedway.

Lefty’s Reading Challenge has been touted by educators as a useful tool to stimulate reading and is in compliance with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) requirements.

Elementary schools can register for free online at www.leftysreadingchallenge.com. Schools that register by Sept. 6 will have the opportunity to have their school principal and two guests take pace car rides around the speedway in an official NASCAR Toyota Camry Pace Car.

Lefty's Reading Challenge will take place Nov. 4 to Nov. 29 in 2019. In the past, the reading challenge was held in January, but was moved to accommodate school schedules.

Students participating in Lefty’s Reading Challenge must complete 20 books or reading assignments during the month-long program for the chance to win money for their libraries, school-wide pizza parties and free NASCAR race tickets for staff, students and parents.

Earlier this year, five schools from San Bernardino and Los Angeles County had 100 percent classroom participation and completion rate for Lefty’s Reading Challenge. These schools each received $2,000 for their libraries from the Auto Club Speedway Foundation, which funds Lefty’s Reading Challenge. Two of those schools -- Shadow Hills and Hemlock -- were from Fontana.

In addition to Lefty’s Reading Challenge, Lefty’s Kids Club has several activities planned, including Lefty’s Track Day on Aug. 15. The public is welcome to drive the track to raise funds for the local elementary school libraries through the speedway's foundation.

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