Cortney Bloomer delivers books for the Ride for Reading event at Bordewich Bray Elementary School on Sept. 30, 2015.
Weather permitting, bookworms and cycling enthusiasts will unite March 21 in downtown Carson City during an event designed to bolster child literacy.
“The main point of this entire event is to get more books into kids’ hands at that critical age to encourage reading,” said Chelsea Kincheloe, president of Muscle Powered, the local nonprofit organizing the event.
Muscle Powered is partnering with the Western Nevada Safe Routes to School program to deliver, by bicycle, 500 to 800 books to Bordewich Bray Elementary School. Volunteers will trek from the Governor’s Mansion, 606 Mountain St., to Bordewich Bray between 1 and 3 p.m. Participants will need to bring their own bicycles and helmets for safety. Book bags and bike trailers are also recommended.
Kincheloe said there is no limit to how many volunteers can participate.
“At minimum, I would love to see 25 volunteers show,” she said.
The book-bearing convoy will pass by the Nevada Legislature to say hello to lawmakers before looping back to the elementary school. Carson City Mayor Lori Bagwell and Supervisor Lisa Schuette are expected to be riding, Kincheloe said, as well as a representative from the governor’s office.
“We’ve just been inviting anyone and everyone,” she said.
The books were donated by Spread the Word Nevada, a nonprofit group that focuses on child literacy. About 2,000 books are being stored at the Carson City Public Works facility off Butti Way, and event organizers hope a third of those will be delivered March 21.
“So March is National Reading Month, and this is just a big push to get people reading again, especially kids in elementary school when they’re really at that critical age for getting that passion for reading,” said Kincheloe.
The event also raises awareness of the walkability and bicycle-friendly areas of Carson City, Kincheloe said. Muscle Powered would like more kids to be aware of the mental and health benefits of cycling and other outdoor activities. Scott Bohemier, coordinator of the Safe Routes to School program, will be at the school that day talking to students about pedestrian safety.
“That day for us is Nevada Moves Day, a day we reach out to schools and just get the kids moving,” said Bohemier. “Our job is just really to get the safety message out there for walking and biking safely.”
Bohemier said he tells students about his own experiences with bicycle crashes, with and without a helmet, and the injuries he’s sustained.
“Helmet safety is one of my big things,” he said. “I’m just trying to teach that with real-world stories. It really gets through to the kids.”
Kincheloe hopes the remaining books will be delivered to at least two other schools in May during National Bike Month. Regarding the March 21 event, she reassured prospective volunteers that the trip will not be too difficult.
“It’s not very long, probably only a mile and a half that volunteers would have to ride, mostly on flat surfaces,” she said.
Those interested should email Kincheloe at email@example.com.
According to the group’s website, Spread the Word Nevada has given more than 6 million books to more than 672,000 low-income youth in Nevada.
For information, visit https://spreadthewordnevada.org/about-us/.