When you invest in the 500 Festival Foundation you are supporting the 500 Festival’s youth, health, and education programs, and events. You are making a difference in our community and bringing the celebration of the legacy of the Indianapolis 500 to all Hoosiers.
The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health, uses the history of the Indy 500 as a teaching tool to enhance and assist learning in the core subjects of Social Studies, Language Arts, Science, Math, Health, Physical Education and Visual Arts. This award-winning program uses an Indiana Academic Standards-based curriculum. Each year, the Education Program impacts more than 25,000 fourth-grade students from 300+ schools around the state.
The 500 Festival provides all the materials including lesson plan kits, student study guides, and companion DVDs necessary to effectively teach the program at no cost to the schools or students. All schools have the opportunity to attend a Study Trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where students will engage in lessons that further the in-class curriculum. Schools also have the option of hosting a Mobile Trip, which features many of the same lessons that are taught during Study Trips – including an actual IndyCar! Both opportunities are provided at no cost to schools.
The 500 Festival Princess Program celebrates Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women. Each year, 33 college-aged women are selected as 500 Festival Princesses and serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their colleges/universities.
The Princess Program has evolved from a beauty pageant into an ambassadorship program, and the 500 Festival has significant plans to build on that change moving forward focusing primarily on scholarship, professional development, and diversity inclusion—all of which are dependent on each other. By offering more chances of educational scholarships, as well as numerous professional growth opportunities, we will achieve a more accurate depiction of how diverse Indianapolis and Indiana are through the representation of the Princess Program.
The 500 Festival Intern Program is designed to allow each intern to experience the month of May in Indianapolis in a new and exciting way. This program, which offers hands on experience across all events and programs, is offered during the spring semester of the academic year and is only open to college students.
In an effort to fight childhood obesity, the 500 Festival KidsFit Program, a free program for Indiana classrooms grades K-6, teaches Indiana youth the importance of a healthy lifestyle through a mix of in-class lessons and running activities. The goal is for students to run 13.1 miles over the course of the program, the equivalent of a half-marathon. The culmination of the KidsFit Program occurs on the morning of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, where students are invited to Indianapolis to finish their final 3.1 miles along the Mini-Marathon course. Students can also experience the fun and excitement of a 500 Festival running event through a KidsFit Mobile Run. Mobile Runs bring the pageantry and fanfare of a 500 Festival running event to schools around Indiana. Mobile Runs are offered to schools free of charge and the 500 Festival provides all resources, including a Start Line, Finish Line, and décor.