Jeff Burton revs up the Race to Read

Jeff Burton revs up the Race to Read

Kernersville, NC Elementary recently got a special treat as veteran Winston Cup driver Jeff Burton visited their school to kick off the "Race to Read" program. In collaboration with Ford Racing, the North Carolina Association of Educators, and the...

Kernersville, NC Elementary recently got a special treat as veteran Winston Cup driver Jeff Burton visited their school to kick off the "Race to Read" program. In collaboration with Ford Racing, the North Carolina Association of Educators, and the South Carolina Education Association, "Race to Read" was launched on October 1, and will continue through October 19th. The program is designed to promote reading amongst North and South Carolina school children from Kindergarten through the Eighth grade.

Jeff Burton.
Photo by Greg Gage.

The program is simple. Students can download a "Race to Read" bookmark, on which they fill out the names of three books they have read within the program period and then submit the bookmark by mail or email. Ford Racing will supply prizes to each student who submits their bookmark within the promotional period. The school in each state that sends in the most bookmarks, will host a recognition event from Ford Racing hosted by Jeff Burton.

About 20% of Americans, 1 out of 5 read below an Eighth grade level, making them functionally illiterate. I think this is a great program," Burton said. "Education is so important and when you read the statistics, an estimated 23 million Americans cannot read or write. That is a disturbing number and if I can do one small thing to help decrease this number by encouraging kids to read, it's a great thing. We don't want any more children to become statistics. The "Race to Read" program is a great program that Ford is involved in and I'm proud to be a part of it." In addition to the live event hosted by Burton, he has also recorded a series of public service announcements to air in both states during the awareness period.

Burton and wife Kim have been at the forefront of promoting children's charities through NASCAR for years. The Burton's are also major contributors to The Duke Children's hospital, and the 1-800-DUKE-KIDS phone number is a constant staple on Burton's #9 Gain Busch Series Ford's rear deck lid. For the Burton family, promoting children and literacy is a family affair; Brother Ward also lends a hand to the American Library Association each year, garnering awareness for their "Drive to Read" programs. For Jeff Burton, the reason to participate was an obvious; "It's about being a small part of something that's the right thing to do."

Educators can also sign up to receive a free copy of "Race of the Century - The Story of the 1901 Auto Race that Put the World on Wheels", along with comprehensive lesson plans. For more information on this offer and to download a bookmark you can visit www.ncae.org or www.thescea.org.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Burton