CARIBOU, Maine — Teague Park Elementary students cheered as their names were drawn for the chance to win a brand new brightly colored bike Friday, May 29.
Bikes for Books, a program sponsored by the Caribou Masonic Lodge, encourages young students to read books and have fun with a healthy activity.
David Spooner, Bikes for Books project coordinator, said the program has been giving away bikes for the past four years to elementary schools in Caribou, Woodland, New Sweden and Connor. Out of those four years Spooner said he’s “never seen a poor sport. It’s always cheer and happiness.”
For every book a child reads during the program that meets their teacher’s approval, they get a ticket to fill out and put into a drawing for a new bike. Before the end of the school year the Masonic Lodge goes to each school and draws one ticket for a boy and one for a girl from each grade or classroom who participates. The child whose name is drawn receives a new bike along with a new helmet.
The Caribou Masonic lodge contributes half of the funds for the purchase of the bikes and the remainder is picked up through donations. They collected 36 bikes and gave away two bikes per grade for each school.
Spooner said it’s up to the school what the student reads and teachers verify when the student finishes a book. He said one student managed to read 42 books from February to May.