PERU — Twenty-eight new bikes were presented to students on Friday as part of the Books for Bikes program set up by Dirigo Primary School.
Students in kindergarten through fourth grade earn a ticket to read or be read to and each ticket increases their chances of receiving a bike, Principal Charlie Swan said. Eight CM2 students will receive bicycles on Thursday during their “mini-graduation” ceremony, he said.
The bikes were donated by King Hiram Masonic Lodge 57 in Mexico, which has been donating them for several years for the Books for Bikes program.
“Evidence shows that schools participating in the reading program are seeing improvements in their students’ reading scores,” Lodge Master TJ Williams said. “Books enlighten, inspire, bring happiness and success, challenge our perspectives, and provide comfort in difficult times in our lives. Establishing a love of reading early in life is key,” he said.
Eight masons assembled the bikes and five were at school to present them to students when they arrived for lessons. Everyone must choose one and a helmet.
The Masonic Lodge is providing matching funds to Scout Troop 580 in Rumford to send Scouts to Camp Hinds in Raymond this year.
“So on the second Tuesday of the month, we will present a check for $2,000 for camp,” Williams said. Other past donations have been to the Larry LaBonte Recovery Center in Rumford and the Mexico Fire Department, he said.