NEWARK — Nevaeh Miller carried her red race car to the ramp and let it roll.
The sparkly wheels, made from old CDs, carried the car almost 20 feet across the cafeteria floor
The worn out tunes proved to be her secret weapon.
Nevaeh won first place Wednesday in Ben Franklin Elementary School’s second Gravity Junk Race Derby, an event designed to bring students and their parents together.
The derby is part of Ben Franklin’s Parent Connection Program, which encourages students and parents to get involved in school activities, said Madeline Black, a fifth-grade teacher who organized the event.
Instead of watching their children participate, parents were encouraged to help them build cars out of materials they could find at home.
“This is something they could do together,” Black said. “At this age, that is important.”
Some students built their cars at school, but others worked on them at home. Washers, tissue boxes, cardboard, CDs, spools and other materials were used.
Each student had three opportunities to send their cars down the ramp. The three students whose cars went the farthest took home prizes.
Fourth-grader Desiree Russell found a log with her father that they decided to turn into a car. They used a broom stick to make the wheels and painted it pink and purple.
Before the derby, Desiree was hard at work on last-minute changes to her log car.
“I liked doing it because I like breaking stuff and fixing it,” she said. “We are going to do this next year and we are going to win.”
Third-grader Calvin Jenkins got second place with his car, which was made of wood, cardboard and washers.
His father Mike Jenkins helped him build it and his mother Shantel helped him tweak it before the event.
Mike builds drag racing cars so he and Calvin were really excited when they got the flier for the event.
“Kids go to school and parents go to work and life is so busy,” Shantel said. “This is a good opportunity to spend time together and do something fun and creative.”