For the second year in a row several accomplished readers at area elementary schools got a surprise at the end of the school year — a brand new bike provided by the King Masonic Lodge.
The Bikes for Books Program was initially started by a Mason from Old Town Masonic Lodge #751 named Terry Wooten.
“Wooten passed away this past year, but Old Town Lodge and King Lodge will continue his vision for years to come in encouraging the children of today to improve their reading skills,” said King Mason Paul Isaacson.
He said for the past two years the local Masons have purchased two bikes for students who had shown the most improvement in reading skills over the year at each of the following schools: Mount Olive Elementary, Pinnacle Elementary, Popular Springs Elementary and King Elementary
“It took a lot of time last year getting in touch with the necessary school administrators to execute the program,” said Isaacson. “The schools already have a program in effect that is used to show how students reading levels have improved throughout the school year. One thing we did differently this year was provide an approved helmet for each child. We also created forms this year to give to each principal to find out what the children’s height, weight and head size and other particulars were to get a bicycle for each student’s individual size.”
This year the bikes were purchased using proceeds form the King Christmas Parade supplemented by individual donations form King Masons.
“Last years Bikes for Books was funded by our E-Waste Charity where residents and businesses in the surrounding area donated their unwanted and old electronics,” said Isaacson. “Members of the Lodge disassembled these devices into their many parts which were then purchased by Piedmont E-Cycling. Those components are then sent to the necessary refineries where they can be recycled and used in new equipment.”
Mount Olive Elementary School recipients this year included Kindergartner Isabelle Brown-Morse and third grader Jackson Carroll.
At Pinnacle Elementary third grader Bryon Joyce and second grader Kaitlyn Willard received bikes.
Second grader Adri Carlino and fourth grader Riley Jerrell were the recipients at Poplar Springs Elementary School.
At King Elementary School two brothers, second grader Gabriel Nugget and third grader Joseph Nugget were the winners.
“If you speak with members of the Lodge who have had the opportunity to be present during the presentation of the bikes, the best part of the program is seeing each individual student get excited about receiving their own bike,” said Isaacson. “A lot of hard work is put forth by the student and the many teachers, it’s refreshing to see those same children be rewarded for their efforts.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.