Thomas Pulkkinen, secretary of the Bay View Masonic Lodge #196 of East Boothbay, recently introduced the Bikes for Books program to students at Edgecomb Eddy School.
The Bikes for Books program, sponsored by Maine Freemasons, encourages students to build strong reading habits and develop a love of reading.
Last school year, more than 90 Masonic Lodges throughout Maine presented nearly 1,500 bicycles to children participating in this reading incentive program in local schools and public libraries. In June of last year, 30 bikes and safety helmets were presented to students in grades three to six at Boothbay Region Elementary School.
The program is new to Edgecomb Eddy and is being offered to every student in the school. Participating students will receive a reading journal where they are asked to keep track of the books read, and to choose a follow-up activity to demonstrate comprehension of the book.
In this program, for every book read a student enters his or her name in the drawing to be held later in the school year. With each book read, students increase the probability of having their name drawn to receive a bike and helmet. At Edgecomb Eddy, this program will run through Feb. 27, 2015.
Principal Lisa Clarke reports that she was contacted recently from a couple in Edgecomb who have purchased a library card at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta for every Edgecomb student. She reports that this was done in hopes of instilling a love of reading in children.
"This is definitely a win-win for Edgecomb students, and what perfect timing," said Clarke.
Huffy is a significant supporter of this program, but fundraising efforts continue, with hopes of increasing the inventory and, therefore, being able to offer more bikes and helmets to more children. If you or someone you know would like to offer a donation toward the Bikes for Books program, please contact Mr. Pulkkinen at 207-633-7167 or via email at TEPulkkinen@aol.com.