By Leila Dycus staff writer

The last day of school has finally arrived at the primary school and for some extraordinary students their reading has earned them new bikes. On Friday May 23 members of the Madison Masonic Lodge 376 F and AM made their way to the Morgan County Primary School media center to award five students new bicycles.

The Bike giveaway has become a tradition around the primary school encouraging students to read. Read to Ride began in 2006. The program awards students bikes two times a year. During the winter semester the two second graders who have read the most minutes are awarded the prized bikes. During the spring semester first graders join the challenge

. On the last day of school a first grade boy and girl who have read the most minutes are awarded a bike. Again a second grade boy and girl receive a bicycle. There is also a bike given to the most improved reader. This year Madison Masonic Lodge members Bob Nesbit, Harold Moss, Bob Wilbanks, Jim Brisco and Ed Perkins visited the school to help award the coveted bikes. Students packed into the media center and awaited the results.

“We are blessed that the Masonic Lodge is interested in our school and provides a program that motivates children to read,” said principal Betsy Short. “Without their help, we could not have the Read to Ride program.”

This year’s first grade bicycles went to Elena Albury, and Alex Sewell. The second grade winners were Yadira Marban and Christopher Morgan. The most improved reader was Leilan Horton. “Leilan improved from a level eight to a level twenty eight,” said Short. “He finished one whole grade level and worked hard to be successful.” Leilan’s astonishing progress earned him this distinguished award. The look on the children’s faces as they saw their bikes said it all.

Their smiles penetrated the room proving that the Read to Ride is an important part of learning at MCPS.