Masons continue tradition of awarding students for reading



Lucky winners … Students at Elms Road Elementary School who received bikes and helmets were, from left, Emily Conner, Savannah Hindmon, Autumn Sortor, James Ellis, Dante Hatch and Henry Scrivener. They are pictured with Elms Road Principal David Simonsen and school resource Officer Brian Abraham. Courtesy photo

Lucky winners … Students at Elms Road Elementary School who received bikes and helmets were, from left, Emily Conner, Savannah Hindmon, Autumn Sortor, James Ellis, Dante Hatch and Henry Scrivener. They are pictured with Elms Road Principal David Simonsen and school resource Officer Brian Abraham. Courtesy photo

SWARTZ CREEK — Despite all of the strangeness of the past year with the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of Swartz Creek Masonic Lodge 458 and Morning Star Lodge 556 continued their annual Bikes for Books tradition.

Dipping into their own pockets, the lodge members were able to purchase 20 new bikes and helmets to award to Swartz Creek Community Schools students.

Winners are chosen by drawing, and students are able to submit one entry for each book they read during Reading Month. March is designated as Reading Month in honor of Theodor Geisel, better known by his nom de plume, Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss was born March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts. His first book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” was published in 1937 by Vanguard Press. Over the course of his career, Dr. Seuss wrote more than 60 children’s books and introduced generations of people to the benefits of reading.

The Bikes for Books program is designed to teach kids that reading can be fun, said Mark Gonyea, worshipful master for Swartz Creek Masonic Lodge 458.

“It encourages kids to read more,” said Gonyea. “It teaches the importance of reading, writing and reading comprehension skills.”