Masons with the King Hiram Lodge 57 of Mexico after delivering 28 bicycles and helmets for their fourth Bikes for Books program at the Dirigo Elementary School earlier in June. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

Bike winner Scarlett Flagg. Submitted photo

Bike winner Abraham Webster. Submitted photo

Bike winner Briella Hebert. Submitted photo

Bike winner Sophie Turner. Submitted photo

PERU — Earlier this month, a drawing was held by Dirigo Elementary School in which two girls and two boys from each of the Pre-K-5 classes received a bike, thanks to the Masons’ Bikes for Books program.
This is the fourth year of the Bikes for Books program held by King Hiram Lodge 57 of Mexico, which supplied 28 bicycles and safety helmet..
Principal Charlie Swan said students in the seven classes read books over a three-week period. Each time participating students in the program read an age-appropriate book, their name went in a drawing. The more they read, the better their chances of earning a bike.
This year’s winners were as follows:
Pre-K — Savanna Houghton, Piper Mills, Kyle Cloutier and Noble Skillin.
Kindergarten — Emma Mawhinny, Sophie Turner, Marcus Risner and Nathan Gallant.
Grade 1 — Scarlett Flagg, Aubrey Sneller, Dominic DiBenetto and Abraham Webster.
Grade 2 — Briella Hebert, Khloe Touchette, Ryan Child and Kiptyn Jalbert.
Grade 3 — Annabella Dagwan, Neveah McDaniel, Matty Risner and Abel Edingbourgh.
Grade 4 — Peyton Brennan, Abby MacFarlane, Jesse Bouchard and Dylan Stickney.
Grade 5 — Zoey Bordeau, Emma Witas, Griffin Houghton and Griffin Grant.
Dexter Berry of King Hiram Lodge said the program was started for the purpose of encouraging students to read.
In the past, the year’s progam cost about $3,000, with one third paid by the Masonic Lodge, one third by the Charitable Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Maine, with the other third paid by community members, businesses and organizations.
Masonic lodges throughout Maine presented bicycles to children participating in reading programs in local schools and libraries.
Reggie Wing of King Hiram Lodge said their lodge will present six more bicycles later this summer following the reading program at the Ludden Library in Dixfield.
Evidence shows that schools participating in the program are witnessing improved reading scores among their students. Books also enlighten, inspire, bring happiness and success, challenge perspectives and provide comfort at difficult times in lives.
It’s essential to establish a love for reading early in life.
The objectives of the program are three-fold:
• Increase student reading and comprehension skills;
• Recognize positive students achievements;
• Provide an attainable goal, with life enhancing results.


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