Four lucky students at Oxford Elementary School were rewarded with a shiny new bicycle for actively reading throughout the month of March, which is National Reading Month.
The third, fourth, and fifth-graders packed into the school cafeteria May 10, anxious to find out if their reading efforts had paid off.
Four bikes sat on the stage, two for girls and two for boys, each with a safety helmet to match.
The winners were announced after a long two-month wait.
Winning OES students were Isabella Hubbard (fourth grade), Kaleb Gordon (fifth grade), Chris Stockert (third grade), and Hazel Robertson (third grade), who was not present for the assembly.
The bikes and helmets were donated by the Oxford Masonic Lodge #84 as part of their “Bikes for Books” initiative.
Students in all three grade levels were invited to participate in the event by turning in reading logs every Friday throughout the month of March.
Each reading log served as a raffle ticket to increase the students’ chances of winning one of the bicycles.
According to Fred Clack, secretary of Oxford Masonic Lodge #84, the program was created to increase student reading and comprehension skills.
“We try to instigate reading amongst the kids,” Clack said. “It gives them a goal and something to read for. The more books they read, the more chances they have of winning a bike. We implemented this program probably a good six to eight years ago and we just now decided to start doing (it) here locally, and see if we can get some more interest in reading. (Reading is) one of those fundamentals that we just don’t do enough (of) anymore.”
Stephanie Niemi, third-grade teacher and representative of the March Reading Month Committee, said the Bikes for Books program has pushed her students to become more involved in reading.
“It gave some incentive for students that were not as interested in reading,” Niemi said. “I had students in my own classroom that turned in reading logs that normally wouldn’t have. And I know, as a school, we are so thankful to the Masons that they chose us to give the opportunity to.”