At Homestead-Miami Speedway, crowning champions is not limited to the action on the track, but also extends into the community in a variety of ways. In the classroom, the Speedway also celebrates champions, as it continues its commitment of helping kids excel in school through the “Write Track Poetry” program.
For the second year in a row, the championship track partnered with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network of the Jason Taylor Foundation to hold the Write Track Poetry competition. Starting in September, students from 13 Miami-Dade County middle schools submitted poems based on the theme, What is Your Legacy? In addition, pep rallies were held at the participating schools, where students were treated to spoken-word performances from members of the bluapple Poetry Network.
The winning poem was submitted by Kyle King, an 8th-grader at Leewood K-8 Center in Kendall. His poem, Tick, Tick Boom, was professionally recorded and produced, and will be played prior to Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series championship race.
The top-three poets overall, including King, will be awarded the unique opportunity to be driven to school in the Homestead-Miami Speedway Official Pace Car. Also, the top three students in each grade (6-8) from all 13 schools will be in attendance for Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300.
“At the bluapple Poetry Network, we know how life changing spoken word poetry can be for young people as it gives them a platform, encourages their voice and validates their experiences,” said Sierra DeMulder, Director of the bluapple Poetry Program. “It was an honor to work with Homestead-Miami Speedway to bring this empowering art form to so many students.”
“The Write Track Poetry program has made a profound impact on the youth of South Florida, providing kids an opportunity to express themselves artistically,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “It’s imperative to empower students with instructional tools, such as poetry, that help build upon their creative skills, while also expanding their cultural horizons. We are thrilled that we have been able to partner with the bluapple Poetry Network to help achieve these goals again this year.”
About the Jason Taylor Foundation
In July 2004, Miami Dolphins legendary Defensive End and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jason Taylor, established the Jason Taylor Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization. The Foundation’s mission is to support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life.
Since opening its doors, the Jason Taylor Foundation has impacted tens of thousands of children through innovative programming including The Jason Taylor Reading Room, Cool Gear for the School Year, the Jason Taylor Children’s Learning Center, Jason Taylor Scholars and the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network, among others. For more information on the Jason Taylor Foundation, please visit www.JasonTaylorFoundation.org or follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jasontaylorfoundation or Twitter and Instagram: @jtfoundation99 or @bluapple poetry.
About Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway has been open since 1995 following an initiative to spur economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The Speedway is a 650-acre facility that features a 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course. The Speedway hosts on-track events nearly 300 days per year and generates more than $301 million annually for the region. In 2016, NASCAR celebrated its 15-year anniversary (2002-16) of crowning champions in all three of its national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend. Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2016 were Jimmie Johnson (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), Daniel Suarez (NASCAR XFINITY Series) and Johnny Sauter (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series). 2017 Ford Championship Weekend will be held November 17-19.
About “Driving for a Cause”
“Driving for a Cause,” the charitable arm of Homestead-Miami Speedway, operates under the auspices of the NASCAR Foundation as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Homestead-Miami Speedway will continue each of its charitable activities, including its in-kind donations to local groups, support of Homestead Hospital’s Speediatrics unit, and its program where organizations can work track events in exchange for a donation to their group or cause.