Ginny McClure's Racing 4 Literacy Program

Racing 4 Literacy receives an assist Ginny McClure took the Racing 4 Literacy campaign to Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Richmond, Va., last week and received an assist from Virginia First Lady Roxanne Gilmore. McClure, wife ...

Ginny McClure's Racing 4 Literacy Program

Racing 4 Literacy receives an assist

Ginny McClure took the Racing 4 Literacy campaign to Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Richmond, Va., last week and received an assist from Virginia First Lady Roxanne Gilmore. McClure, wife of No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Racing team owner Larry McClure, has been visiting Virginia schools urging students to read and write. Students are rewarded for reading a predetermined number of books and writing book reports on them, and Roxanne Gilmore helped McClure get the point across. "She got up and spoke to them about the importance of reading and writing," McClure said of the First Lady. "She told them she had visited places she didn't ever think she'd be able to go to. She told them just last week she was in Egypt and didn't leave her living room. "Teresa Sawyer (wife of Richmond Raceway Vice President and Treasurer Wayne Sawyer) went with me from the Richmond track. Only two of the kids had ever been to the Richmond track, so I think Teresa is going to get involved with me, too." McClure has been to many elementary schools throughout Virginia with the Racing 4 Literacy campaign. She's visited Virgilina, Va., south of South Boston and Nathalee, Va., north of South Boston. She's also been to Keokee and St. Charles in Lee County, Va., the western most county where she's from. She has also spoken to students in Ridgeway, outside of Martinsville, and Stony Mill in Danville, as well as Snow Creek, in Pinhook, Va. "We tested it on some local schools last year and tried to work out some bugs," McClure said. "I asked the First Lady to get me in with the Department of Education, and they identified 10 counties around race tracks. That's why I'm going to Richmond, around the Martinsville-Danville area and then around the Bristol area. "I've read all their book reports with the exception of about three batches. I was inundated at one point, so I called in my sisters in law to help. I put comments on the book reports and send them back to the school. "I used to work at a community college, and I did placement testing for reading, writing and math. A lot of adults could not do the basics the students are now learning in fourth, fifth and sixth grades. If I could make a difference in their lives now, it will make their lives easier later on." And McClure has found that it's easier to keep the students' attention by telling them about NASCAR. "I give them a behind the scenes race weekend," McClure said. "I load the truck, and I take the team to the track the night before. I tell them how we get parked, where we're parked, how we go through inspection and how we qualify. I'll relate it to what the team did last week. "I tell them the guys have a curfew. They have to be in by 11 o'clock the night before the race. After the race, everything has to go back in its place. I know their mothers have told them that before, but that's the way it is for the race team, too. McClure has been most impressed with how well her program has been received so far. "I'm at 90 percent success rate," she said. "One school did 100 percent of the contracts they signed. They sign a contract with the teacher to read a certain number of books in a certain period of time. They have to write a book report on each book, and that book report is sent to me. "I give them special T-shirts that are made especially for them. I call them my kids like Jerry Lewis, but no one else will ever have this T-shirt. "I've had a lot of interest. I've had interest in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and South Carolina. Most of the schools I've gone into I've called the local media, but word of mouth goes a long way." The Racing 4 Literacy program will expand in the 1999-2000 school year with a long-term goal of becoming a national program.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Ms. Ginny McClure, Director Racing 4 Literacy Program Morgan-McClure Motorsports, Inc. 26502 Newbanks Road Abingdon, Va. 24210 Phone - 540-628-3683, Ext. 248 Fax - 540-628-6532

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