Originally published in Castine Patriot, June 6, 2019
From the page of a book to the seat of a bike
Students win bikes through books
The winners of new bikes at Penobscot Community School are, from left, Kennedy Austin, Jayden Meierdirk, Caden Martin, Kyra Poitras and Hollis Skillin. Missing from photo is winner Cadance Pert.
by Monique Labbe
Each year, students at Penobscot Community School and the Adams School vie for a chance to win a new bike through the Books for Bikes program. For every book a student reads throughout a 12-week period, they receive a ticket for a chance to win a new bike.
The program has run at both schools for many years, and while the teachers are responsible for keeping the students on track, it is the men of the Masononic Rising Star Lodge #4 in Penobscot that make it possible.
The group has purchased the bikes and donated them to the program at each school, allowing the students to work toward a tangible reading goal to promote English and Language Arts.
“It makes us feel good, that we can do this for these kids,” said Eric Reed, a member of the Masons.
Reed added that it is also a way to let the younger generations know who the Masons are, what they do, and why it is important to spread the idea of community involvement.
For Ben Moss, also a member of the Lodge, it is a chance to give students an opportunity they may not have otherwise.
“Some of these kids may not have access to a new bike,” said Moss. “We get to give them that.”
The winners of the bikes at Penobscot Community School were Hollis Skillin, Kyra Poitras, Jayden Meierdirk, Cadence Pert, Kennedy Austin and Caden Martin.
Sydney Trainor, Mark Moon, Jacob Parker, Mae Lamontanaro, Acadia Simmons and Ian Bowden were the winners at the Adams School.