CRMS Students Win New Bikes Thanks to Local Masonic Lodges
On Friday afternoon, April 12, the gym at the C-R Middle School came alive with a school wide assembly to get the students ready for their upcoming Spring vacation. Thanks to the Masons of Amity Lodge #6 of Camden and St. Paul's Lodge #82 of Rockport, twenty students began their vacation with a brand new bike and safety helmet courtesy of the Maine Masonic Bikes for Books Program.
According to Jeff Sukeforth, Bikes for Books coordinator for the two lodges, this was the second year in which the middle school reading program and the Masons teamed up to make sure the students have an incentive to read a lot of books. The Masons raised money and had their funds matched by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Maine Youth Charitable Grant program. The Grand Lodge of Maine sets aside funds every year for lodges involved in the Bike for Books program.
Sukeforth related this program really relies upon the teachers to do the yeoman's work during the school year. They ensure the students are reading age appropriate books and providing a sysopsis of the book in exchange for a ticket to be placed into the drawing buckets. The program culminates with the school assembly and the Masons presenting the bikes to the lucky winners. This year the program was expanded to include 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade reading classes.
Lead instructor Michelle Gabrielson said the students were anxious to get a start on the program when they heard the Masons were once again involvd this year. Michelle told everyone at the assembly that the 5th grade students were really involved in the program reading 54% of all the books read during the year. Gabrielson said there were twenty-nine students involved in the program this year.
The Masons were able to provide all twenty-nine students with a brand new bike safety helmet and twenty of the students went home that afternoon with a new Huffy 24 inch bike along with the caveat they must continue to improve their reading skills during the summer time.
According to Sukeforth this is just one of the many projects in which the Masons are involved in within the community. Since the Maine Masons have been involved in this program throughout Maine, lodges have provided 5,020 new bikes to deserving students in reading programs. This is just one way in which local Masons are making a difference in the lives of a few children.
Anyone who would like more information on joining the Masonic fraternity can call Sukeforth at 691-2270 or go on the following link; www.mainemason.org