Riders for Readers Starts Kids Rolling in the  Right Direction

The National Institute of Education report of the  Commission on Reading found that, “The single most important activity for  building knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to  children.” Literacy is the foundation for success in all academic disciplines  and an essential ingredient for effective participation in responsible  citizenship and community activities.
Velocity  Motorcycles has developed a unique community partnership of motorcyclists,  public schools and not for profit organizations which enables elementary schools  which have a high proportion of at risk students to establish personal home  libraries for their students, increasing opportunities for children to read and  for family members to read to children.

Motorcycle  and scooter riders visit elementary schools, bringing a wide selection of books  for pleasure reading and event t-shirts for the students and faculty.  The  riders talk to the students about their enjoyment of reading and about the books  they have at home which they share with family members and friends.  The young  readers are encouraged to begin their personal home libraries and develop an  interest in pleasure reading.
Riders for Readers has  conducted events at several Elementary Schools, the children museum of Richmond  and an interstate experimental program in cooperation with the Arts Council of  Manatee County Florida and is planning to conduct several more events in the  very near future at other locations in the Richmond area.  In addition to  sponsorship from multiple Rotary clubs in the Richmond area and the  participation of Rotary Club members, these events have been conducted with help  from Communities in Schools (the nation’s largest dropout prevention program  operating in more than 2500 schools across the country), Greater Richmond  Chamber of Commerce, Scholastic Literacy Partners, Youth Matters, Richmond BMW  Riders, James River Vintage Riders, Supreme Ladies, Boys II Men, Cobra I, Cycle  Kings, Velocity Motorcycles and the donations and participation of dozens of  enthusiastic motorcyclists and other  supporters.
Research indicates a correlation between  poverty and low academic achievement. Students attending some elementary schools  are at greater risk of not attaining the academic success of their peers. In  comparison to the average, some of these schools serve three times as many  single-parent families at or below the poverty level and three times as many  students eligible for free or reduced cost lunches. In one third of the families  served, parents have less than a high school education and are minimally  involved in the educational process.
The response  from the students, parents, teachers, and administrators has been dramatic.  Knowing that someone outside their family or classroom would volunteer a few  hours to bring free books has encouraged young readers to give thoughtful and  often entertaining explanations for selecting certain books from the hundreds of  titles brought to each event.
Funding for the first  year of the program has come mainly from the Brandermill Rotary Club, South  Richmond Rotary, Huguenot Trail Rotary and Velocity, with help from the Richmond  BMW Riders and the G.E. College Bound program. Additional funds have come from  pocket change donated throughout the year at Velocity Motorcycles which  coordinated and hosts the events and stores the  books.
Participating riders and their passengers  donate a registration fee which offsets partially the cost of event T-shirt and  books. Spectators and other supporters may buy shirts year round for fifteen  dollars to support the program.

Riders for Readers  is a tax exempt 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation looking for individual and  corporate sponsors in order to involve more schools and bring books to more  children this year. To learn how you can help and how your company can sponsor a  Riders for Readers event, call or <a href=”mailto:%20eric@velocityvintage.com” target=”_blank”>email</a> Eric at  Velocity 804-353-3456

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