Each year, Haine Elementary School in Cranberry comes up with a way to get students excited about reading.
This year, the Seneca Valley students were asked to record how much they normally read. If they exceeded that amount, their classroom would get an opportunity to race remote-controlled cars against their peers as part of “Race into Reading” program.
“They got really into it,” Principal Michelle Ellis said. “They were just excited to try something new and cheer each other on.”
The gigantic racetrack was set up and used free of charge thanks to Shane Downing, the parent of two Haine Elementary students, who owns the company “Ready … Set … Race” and runs it out of his home.
When he saw his son, Josh, a fourth-grader, bring home a racing book covered with race cars and colored with checkered flags, Downing saw an opportunity to put things into high gear for the students.
It was almost like they were in Disney World, he said. “It was a good experience; I had a lot of fun.”
The racetrack, which took about three hours to set up, is typically used for corporate events, birthday parties and proms.
For Ellis, the point was more than just getting the children to read more.
Reading is a lifelong skill that flows into all the other subjects that children learn, Ellis said.
“The whole goal is to inspire the love of reading,” she said, explaining that reading more is good but the school wants to teach the children that it is “something that is just going to enrich their lives.”
Matt DeFusco is a reporter for Trib Total Media.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.