Bikes - 4 - Books Program
What is it?
A program run by the Lynden Masonic Lodge that donates bicycles to local schools to encourage students to read.
How does it work?
Lynden International Masonic Lodge #56 gives 2 bikes to 11 schools in 4 county districts. Each school will create a reading program that encourages its students to read with the possibility of winning a bike. Some schools do this as a straight out race-the students who read the most win. Other schools do this as a raffle, with each ticket representing a book, reading quiz or amount of pages read. The tickets are drawn at the end of the read a thon.
What does it do?
The program has been running for 10 years and has resulted in huge increases in reading participation in local elementaries and middle schools. A few years ago the number of words read by students at Irene Reither increased 400%!
Just this year Sumas Elementary reinstated their read a thon which had been left by the wayside for two years. over half of the students participated which was an over 50% increase from previous years read a thons.
At Fisher Elementary the 3rd grade girl winner has improved her reading level by one whole grade level and has only missed (3) days the entire year in this early morning class. Our 5th grade boy winner has improved his reading level by an amazing 3 grade levels! He has only missed class time when his attendance was needed in his household to care for younger siblings. How amazing is that!
At Meridian Middleschool this year, because of the contest, they were able to increase the number of quizzes taken from 748 in the first quarter to 996 in the third quarter.
And the year is not over. There are still 5 more schools to go!
Bernice Vosbeck, Blaine Elementary, Lynden Middleschool, Isom, and Irene Reither.
Why do we do this?
Masonry is about making people better. This is reflected in our scholarship programs, bikes 4 books, and other charitable endeavors. Literacy makes a person more capable, more understanding, imaginative, sympathetic and knowledgable. The more literate they are, the more these qualities grow.
How many bikes have you given away?
We have given away over 300 bikes over the last 10 years. We have supplied bikes to the
Lynden Meridian, Blaine and Nooksack School Districts. In 2017 and 2018 we will be expanding the program to include Ferndale and Mt. Baker School districts as well. That will double the number of bikes we are donating and doubling the number of students that will be affected.
Lynden International Masonic Lodge #56 is a leader in the state for this program. We look to constantly find new means to give and teach.
What others are saying:
Meridian Middle School letter 2016
Dear Lynden Masons,
This letter is to thank you, again, for the generosity shown to our school and our students over the past several years. Once again, the Lynden Masons have donated two very nice bikes during the 2015/2016 school year as part of our reading contest.
We have chosen the students who have read the most and taken the most Accelerated Reader quizzes to be the recipients of the bikes. Accelerated Reader is a program that uses online quizzes to test students on reading comprehension and vocabulary in the books they have read.
We have found that students are excited to read during the reading contests. At the end of the contest, we try to have a fun assembly with some of the teachers acting in a skit. This is a wonderful celebration that the students look forward to as the culmination of this reading challenge and they anticipate who will be the lucky recipients of the bikes.
This year, because of the contest, we were able to increase the number of our quizzes taken from 748 in the first quarter to 996 in the third quarter.
We are raising readers in the Meridian School District and we are so grateful for the big part that the Lynden Masons have played in that endeavor.
Thank you again,
Barb Kruger - Meridian Middle School Library
Fisher Elementary School Letter, 2016
Please extend our huge "Thank-you" to the Masons for their generosity with awarding two brand new bikes and helmets to our students! For many of our kids at Fisher, new "anything" is not often a reality, owning a new bike..... is only a dream! Both our awards went to two English Language Learners. ELL make up approximately 25% of our student body. Both students have been attending an early morning class which meets four days a week at 7:30 am. We have (30) students in this class and we typically have 98% attendance even though this is very early for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students to be engaged in learning. Our 3rd grade girl winner has improved her reading level by one whole grade level and has only missed (3) days the entire year in this early morning class. Our 5th grade boy winner has improved his reading level by an amazing 3 grade levels! He has only missed class time when his attendance was needed in his household to care for younger siblings. How amazing is that! Both students and us here at Fisher Elementary are deeply grateful for your support in language enrichment and reading. "Thank-you" again.
Jennie Stitt and Shannon Warner