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Ride for Reading's mission it to promote literacy and healthy living trhought the distribution of books via bicycle to children from low-income areas. In low-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children. Reading is an intricate part of education, and without books it is hard to build a strong academic base. Our children need materials to read at home and it is our goal to provide the means.
Ride for Reading was established in February of 2008 by avid cyclist and Metro Nashville Public School teacher. Ride for Reading came about when he discovered many of his 4th grade students did not have books in their home to read and figured the same must be true for other students. After much research, he decided to do something about this growing problem and combined his two passions, teaching and cycling, to make a difference.
Ride for Reading uses various methods to distribute books to Tennessee kids. Once a month, a group of volunteer cyclists rides across the city while carrying the books in backpacks and bike trailers to a designated school. This gives the cyclists a chance to tell the students about the importance of reading as well as bicycle safety and fitness. We also do drop-offs and teacher book pick-ups. Regardless of the method, we allow the kids or teachers (with a survey filled out by the student) to pick a book they are interested in. We believe this greatly increases the likelihood that they will read the book. To date, we’ve donated over 50,000 books.
Dirt, Guts, and Donuts, our yearly charity mountain bike race, is unlike any other MTB race that a racer will ever do! This unique race consists of an 11 mile race course on one of Middle Tennessee’s best trails, Lock 4. Along the race route, riders will encounter 2 donut stands. If they choose to stop and indulge, they will receive a 2 minute time deduction for every donut they consume. There’s a reason it’s called "The South’s Most Delicious MTB Race"!
Our philosophy can be summed up in one non-English
Ithuteng = forever learning
- Mathew Portell
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