Taking a slight detour to Inglewood before racing this past Sunday in Las Vegas, Superstar NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon took time from his busy schedule to visit Centinela Elementary School on March 5 to promote Lefty’s Reading Challenge, an exciting incentive program designed to get kids motivated and interested in reading. The event was televised by Channel 7 news and other local media. Gillian Zucker, President of the Auto Club Speedway, accompanied Gordon on his visit.
At the assembly to welcome him, Gordon unveiled an interactive e-book app called Lefty & The Radtastic Road Rally. More than 200 students in grades 1st – 6th participated. Three classes had 100% participation from students – Ms. Gallegos 6th, Ms. O’Neil 6th and Mr. Saunders’ 3rd/4th grade class from the ASES afterschool program. Gordon and the Auto Club Speedway Team left donuts for staff adorned with his signature number “24,” as well as posters for each student.
“If Jeff Gordon can take the time to come to our school to remind us how important it is to read, then we need to read, read, read,” said Josue, Centinela’s Student Council President.
This opportunity was made possible by Saunders, who also serves as Centinela’s ASES Program Leader. With support from principal Lorna Martin, he worked with teachers to coordinate and schedule students to read books and fill in their required reading logs, which earned them and their parents free admission to the NASCAR race in Fontana later this month.