When Heather Graham, a first grade teacher at South Elementary School in Mooresville, NC, submitted a request for classroom resources to provide her students with valuable reading practice they were lacking last November to DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit organization that connects public school teachers in need of classroom materials with individual donors who want to help, she had no idea that Speedway Children's Charities would answer her call. However through Speedway Children's Charities generous grant to DonorsChoose.org last year, Heather's and 10 other SCC community teachers' classroom wishes were answered.

Graham describes South Elementary School as one with a "diverse population of children. Our school is a Title One, focus school that has a large population of students at risk." As is the case with many schools and classrooms in our community, Graham found she was lacking tools her 5-7 year-old students, most from low-income families, needed to build reading and comprehension skills. In submitting her request to DonorsChoose.org, Heather described the problem, saying "The trouble is they are not getting the ample amount of practice they need to be completely successful. They do not have books to practice with at home. I am sending home books that are over 15 years old for them to practice finding sight words, some of these books are Social Studies books that are obviously outdated."

In response to her students' needs, Heather visited DonorsChoose.org and submitted a request for resources to empower her little readers. And thanks to Speedway Children's Charities, new leveled books, audio books, Wikki sticks and other activities focusing on phonics and word building arrived in her classroom about one year ago, this month.

When Graham heard that Speedway Children's Charity had made her request a reality, she had this to say, "Thank you so much for your help with the "ready, set, read" project.  My students will benefit a great deal with these new strategies to use.  I can't wait to get started!  With the new materials my students that could really benefit from the extra manipulative's will be able to read with more efficiency.  Thank you again for funding my project!!  You are building a future group of successful readers!

DonorsChoose.org is excited to partner with Speedway Children's Charities again this year to help meet the needs of high-need students in our community. Beginning in March 2009, Speedway Children's Charities will match donations made to classroom requests in the counties surrounding Lowe's Motor Speedway. To learn more, visit www.DonorsChoose.org and look for the Speedway Children's Charities logo.

About DonorsChoose.org
DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit organization that connects public school teachers in need of classroom materials and experiences with individual donors who want to help. At DonorsChoose.org, public school teachers submit project requests for the specific materials their students need to learn. Donors from across the country browse the website and fund the projects they find most compelling. To date, over $29 million in resources has been delivered to classrooms across the country via DonorsChoose.org. To learn more, visit www.DonorsChoose.org, or contact Associate Director Alexandra Cerkovnik at (704) 344-6841.