Twas the day before Christmas break and all through eight DFW schools, all the students were stirring and breaking class rules. Their eyes were locked in on huge green and red bags, all filled up with packages with bright bows and tags. Amid the commotion teachers counted their warnings – 5, 4, 3 – but there was no sense in trying on this special morning.
Texas Motor Speedway, along with its Speeding to Read partner Food for the Soul, delivered nearly 4,000 holiday gifts to the eight elementary schools competing in this year’s program as a reward for reaching the midway point of the competition.
The students, ranging from Pre-K through fifth grade, received stuffed animals from Ty, Foster Grant sunglasses, and other surprises as they began their final hours before leaving class for the winter break.
The 4,000 gifts were part of Food for the Soul’s “10,000 Blessings” gift event this holiday season where they, along with volunteers, wrapped 10,000 gifts to hand out across DFW.
“Christmas is a very special time the world celebrates the birth of our savior Jesus, and the hope and love he displays,” said Food for the Soul founders Bob and Kimberly Sawler. “As a non-profit we like to utilize this opportunity to share His love with the kids by providing Christmas presents that we pray lets them know how much Jesus cares and loves them, and ultimately gives them the joy only He can bring. Food for the Soul has a great partnership with Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding to Read program, which allows us to bless local children this Christmas season.”
Students are able to earn motorsports-related prizes, up to and including race tickets, during the year’s Speeding to Read competition but this was more about rewarding the kids for what they’re doing across the board in their classrooms.
“Throughout the year we see how hard our Speeding to Read students work to achieve the goals we set out for them, but we know we’re only involved in a small part of what they do in the classroom,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “This is our future out there hitting those books, and sometimes it just makes sense to give them an incentive to keep it up and let them know we’re behind them.”
The Speeding to Read competition continues after the winter break and runs through late April.