Bristol Consolidated School Athletic Director Chris Perry rode around the gymnasium on a bicycle to kick off the Bristol Masonic Lodge 74’s Bikes for Books Program Thursday, Jan. 29.
This is the first year for Bristol Masonic Lodge to take on the Bikes for Books reading incentive project, though the Lodge hopes to make it an annual event, according to Don Carrigan, of the Bristol Masonic Lodge.
According to Carrigan, each book a student reads gets the student’s name into a drawing for a new bicycle and helmet. One boy and one girl from every grade will win a bike and helmet. The drawing will take place before April vacation.
“The more books you read, the more tickets you have in the drawing,” Carrigan said. “We really like the goal of encouraging more reading.”
According to Bristol Consolidated School Principal Jennifer Ribeiro, the students are very excited to start this project.
The bikes are purchased from a manufacturer at a discount, through a special arrangement for the Masonic organization. “The bikes come to us with ‘some assembly required,'” Carrigan said.
The Masons are planning to bring authors and illustrators to the school to talk with the students about reading.
According to Carrigan, Bikes for Books is a project of a number of Maine Masonic lodges, supported and encouraged by the Grand Lodge of Maine.
Carrigan, along with the Bristol Masons, hopes to connect to younger people and their families with this project.
“We want to be more visible in the community,” Carrigan said.