Several years ago Paul Ortiz of Churchill Lodge No. 26 in Fallon started a project called Bikes for Books.
The purpose was to encourage grade-school children to read more.
This year Lahontan Elementary School was the school chosen for the project. A girl’s and a boy’s bike have been presented to two students in each class from the third, fourth and fifth grades.
This project is becoming a very great success. This year 233 students participated in reading books according to a criteria of what constituted a book being established by the school. The project started in February and ran through May. It was very satisfying to learn that an outstanding number of students participated, for a total of 95.1 percent of the students in those three grades.
In the previous years there was between 1,000 and 1,500 ticket to put into the drawing. The logic is that the more books they read the more tickets they had in the drawing, therefore a better chance of winning a bike. They go to a different school each year with this program which is very successful, and the Masons hope very useful.
Each year six members of Churchill Lodge No. 26 and Guardian Lodge No. 53 volunteer to buy a bike for the project and the lodges each purchase the helmets and locks.