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Masonic lodge donates bikes for school reading contest

Morgan Finley (center) gives a high five to Craig Schachtele and Gracie Gibson, all winners of free bicycles donated by Richmond Masonic Lodge and area businesses. The first-time event gave a bicycle to a boy and girl in each elementary grade at Hardin-Central and Richmond in a reading contest. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

Morgan Finley (center) gives a high five to Craig Schachtele and Gracie Gibson, all winners of free bicycles donated by Richmond Masonic Lodge and area businesses. The first-time event gave a bicycle to a boy and girl in each elementary grade at Hardin-Central and Richmond in a reading contest. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

A joyous day for kids is the last day of school, but at Hardin-Central Wednesday the final day even got sweeter.

Richmond Masonic Lodge, along with 12 area businesses, donated bicycles to a girl and boy in each elementary grade as a reading incentive. The school also purchased a bike for one of its nine sixth-graders, because it’s part of their elementary school.

Hardin-Central Elementary Principal Julie Griggs said she was pleased with the first-year project to get kids to read more. Teachers determined the criteria for each grade to obtain an entry. For younger students, it was based on how many books parents read to their child, and for the older ones, the numbers of pages read to earn an entry into the bike drawing.

“For more motivation, we created a little benchmark,” Griggs said. “At the end of the hallway, we had an overall scoreboard that showed how many entries were entered by boys and girls.”

The school upped the stakes even more by offering ice cream treats to top classes that had the highest entries. Those winners were the second and fifth grades.

The lucky winners were drawn Wednesday morning during the elementary school’s awards assembly.

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