by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Mike Churchill, left, and Jeff Schatz, Oregon City Masons from Multnomah Lodge #1, presented bikes to Takui Athena Katoanga and Andrew Cristofaro at Gaffney Lane Elementary School on March 1.For the second year, Oregon City Masons rewarded Gaffney Lane Elementary School students with prizes for reading. Two students, kindergartner Andrew Cristofaro and fourth-grader Takui Athena Katoanga, each won a bicycle, while 20 other students won raffle prizes, noted Mike Churchill, a senior steward for the OC Masons.

The Masons have always supported education and the community, he said, adding that the organization has sponsored Books for Bikes for years.

Students in all grade levels each kept a reading log, which was signed off by an adult. Librarian Sue Werner and Mary Ellen McGinty, a reading specialist, collected all the logs, then verified that the students had read books at their reading level. Then those names were placed in a hat, and the winners of the bicycles and the other prizes were drawn at random. The winners’ names were read during a special afternoon announcement March 1, which coincided with Read Across America Day, celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday, McGinty said.

Churchill noted that 146 students participated in the Bikes for Books event; they read 1,111 books in seven weeks.

The students were excited to participate in the reading challenge, McGinty said, describing it like a carrot dangling in front of them. Organizers felt it was important to have more than two bikes given away as prizes, so Burgerville donated gift cards, and other prizes were awarded as well.

The day of the drawing, McGinty said at least a dozen parents and grandparents brought reading logs to school for the students who were ill that day.

She added, “This was more than a school project, it was an outreach activity. They got to enjoy the process as a family.”

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