Bikes for Books Literacy Campaign
By Tom Hendrickson-PGM
About five years ago or so Red Wing Lodge #8 was looking for a project to help make their community a better place. They approached Burnside elementary School in their hometown of Red Wing to partner for a program aimed at children’s literacy.
The Bikes for Books Literacy Campaign emphasizes the following.
It is essential to establish a love for reading early in a child’s life.
The program encourages students to read.
By encouraging reading, student’s comprehension skills improve.
The campaign recognizes student’s achievements in reading.
The program operates in this manner. One boys bicycle and helmet along with one girls bicycle and helmet is given to one student per grade by random drawing. To be eligible for the drawing a student must read eight books that have been approved by the teacher for that grade. The teacher insures that the book is at the appropriate reading level (War and Peace is not at the third grade level. Ha) for the grade level. The student receives one ticket for the drawing once the teacher has confirmed that the eight books have been read. Reading eight books equals one change to win. The more books the student reads the more chances they have to win.
In 2016 two bicycles were added to the program as prizes for the top readers within the entire elementary school. This year 1152 books were read by the students and the top reader completed 120 books.
During the last week of school, at a school wide assembly, the drawings are held. You can bet that there are a lot of kids with crossed fingers and a wish of “pick me, pick me”.
Red Wing Lodge and Burnside Elementary School Bikes for Books program has created a lot of excitement among the students and positive comments from parents and educators. But the most important things are that the program encourages kids to read.
The Brothers of Red Wing Lodge would also like to thank MN Masonic Charities for assisting the Lodge in helping encouraging the kids at Burnside Elementary to read.