To help bring a YMCA literacy program — Y Readers — back to Lincoln County next summer, Sally’s YMCA in Denver will be hosting Riding for Readers this weekend in hopes of raising money for the Community Support Campaign and for first- and second-graders to improve their reading skills.
Last summer, 24 students in the area participated in the six-week program to keep their minds stimulated over summer — to prevent the “summer slide.”
“Over the summer, children can fall behind their classmates,” said Thor Yang, marketing coordinator for Sally’s YMCA. “We don’t want children who need the help to get behind; this program helps that.”
Due to Lincoln County’s proximity to two neighboring YMCA centers and the size and diversity of the number of students in the area, the program seemed a good idea for the district. Participants went on various trips, read and wrote stories at Iron Station Elementary under the guidance of Catawba Springs Elementary teachers and other education officials; some even learned how to swim.
After six weeks, 92 percent of the children in Y Readers improved or maintained their reading level, Y officials said.
Saturday, the bicycle event will wind around east Lincoln and was created by Blood, Sweat and Gears bike shop. Various lengths will be offered for those attending – 25, 50 or 100 kilometers — and is open to cyclists of all levels.
This is the first year the event has been based solely on riding bicycles, and won’t be accompanied by a running section. Riding for Readers is one of two big fundraising events for the summer camp; the other — the Frosty 5K — will be held in December. YMCA officials estimate the cost to be about $1,300 for each child to participate for free in the donation-funded event.
Onsite registration and check in will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the race will begin at 8:30 a.m. Entry is $30, and pre-registration is available at www.sportoften.com.
For more information, visit ymcacharlotte.org/sallys or call (704) 716-7300.
“No matter your fitness level or the type of bike you have, you can participate,” said Jason Lampton, North Y Community senior marketing director. “There’s a great cycling community in the area so this is the perfect way to bring a great opportunity for that group to come together for a cause that directly impacts Lincoln County, and helps level the playing field for many of our children.”