Local students will be riding around on new bicycles this summer, simply because they enjoy reading.
Masonic Lodges in Grays Harbor and Pacific County are joining together to provide 10 bicycles for the students from both counties.
Elementary grade students in Cosmopolis, North River, Raymond, South Bend and Willapa Valley have been reading extra books through the month of May.
Librarians verified the students read the books, before putting their names in the drawings for the five school districts.
Coordinated by Masons Jim Banas and Walt Twidwell from Occident Lodge #48 F.&A.M. in Ilwaco, the lodge in Pacific County has members from throughout the region.
Grays Harbor Lodge #52 F.&A.M. in Hoquiam donated safety helmets to go with the bikes.
The local Bikes for Books program was started at the Ilwaco Masonic Lodge around 10 years ago before spreading north to include Grays Harbor, with organizers saying they “find it very rewarding”.
Mason Jim Banas, who is on the school board at Deep River, said sometimes stories that emerge from the project bring tears to his eyes. All those who take part applaud the good fortune of the winners. One year a boy who had won previously, won for a second time, so he gave the bike to his friend.
Drawings for the new bikes for a boy and a girl in each school will happen June 8 through June 16.
Photo from Grand Lodge of Washingon