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Bikes for books: Masons, Singletrack program gears up children to read

Gathering new bikes for distribution to Valley schools for the Unity Masons
Gathering new bikes for distribution to Valley schools for the Unity Masons' Bikes for Books program are, from left, James Whitney, Kenny Cason, Jonathan Seaton, Mark Goodwin and Brandon Schmid.
— image credit: William Shaw / Staff Photo

Students at North Bend, Snoqualmie, Opstad and Cascade View Elementary Schools will soon be cracking the books to win their way onto Hotrock 21-speed girls and boys mountain bikes.

Eight boys’ and girls’ bicycles were delivered to the four Upper Valley elementary schools this month by the brothers of North Bend’s Unity Masonic Lodge No. 198. The mountain bikes were enthusiastically received by each school’s librarians, who quickly put them on prominent display. During the school year, the librarians will use the bike pairs to enhance each school’s ongoing reading programs to encourage the children to read more books.  In late March or early April 2012, a drawing will be held and one boy and one girl bookworm from each school will each be awarded a new bike and helmet as a prize for the most books read.

At North Bend Elementary, Librarian Lisa Radmer orchestrates a six-week reading challenge during the school year.

“Parents love the Bikes for Books program, and comment how the potential reward of a new bike motivates their kids to read more,” Radmer said. “And even after the bikes are awarded, the children get into the habit of devouring book after book. Through the Bikes for Books program, they learn to love to read.”

The Unity Masonic Lodge Bikes for Books program was started in 2007 with two schools and in 2008 was expanded from two to four Upper Valley elementary schools. Bikes for Books is funded through donations from the members of the lodge in an annual raffle and in partnership with Loren and Diane Morris of Singletrack Cycles in North Bend. Specialized cicycle company matched the donation bike for bike. Manufactured by Specialized Bicycle Company, the popular Hotrock mountain bike and bicycle helmet retail for $410 and $45 each.

Donations can be made to the ‘Unity Masonic Lodge Bikes for Books’ bank account at the North Bend branch of Sterling Savings Bank, at Singletrack Cycles located at 119 West North Bend Way in North Bend, and to Bikes4Books;  P.O.Box 563, North Bend WA 98045-0563.

For information, contact Mark Goodwin at (425) 269-3688 or Bikes4Books@unity198.org, or Singletrack Cycles, (425) 888-0101.

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